Confining choices: Should inmates' participation in research be limited?

Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 23 (6):519-536 (2002)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Historically, prisoners in the United Stateshave served as an inexpensive and readilyavailable source of human subjects forresearch. Coinciding with the civil rightsmovement, however, was an emerging conceptionof prisoners'' rights that led to the NationalCommission for the Protection of Human Subjectsof Biomedical and Behavioral Research beingcharged with investigating the use of prisonersas research subjects. The recommendations thatevolved and the subsequent guidelines that havebeen implemented by the Department of Healthand Human Services significantly curtail theuse of prisoners as research subjects. Whilethese measures are designed to protect inmatesfrom the abuses of the past, of particularconcern to many health care officials isexclusion of inmates from experimental HIV/AIDSand hepatitis treatments. This paper addresseswhether the vulnerability of prisoners in theUnited States due to their incarceration issufficient to prohibit them from participationin clinical trials that offer the possibilityof life-saving treatment. It first outlinesthe evolution in moral thinking that has led tolaws broadly prohibiting prisoners frombiomedical research studies and then analyzescases in the law to develop ethical argumentsin support of the view that prisoners should beallowed to participate in clinical trials. Theconclusion is that prisoners should be allowedto participate in such trials.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 77,737

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library


Added to PP

51 (#236,337)

6 months
1 (#481,788)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

References found in this work

Philosophical Foundations of Respect for Autonomy.Candace Cummins Gauthier - 1993 - Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 3 (1):21-37.

Add more references