The Social Value Requirement Reconsidered

Bioethics 29 (5):301-308 (2015)
It is widely assumed that it is ethical to conduct research with human subjects only if the research has social value. There are two standard arguments for this view. The allocation argument claims that public funds should not be devoted to research that lacks social value. The exploitation avoidance argument claims that subjects are exploited if research has no social value. The primary purpose of this article is to argue that these arguments do not succeed. The allocation argument has little relevance to commercial research. Social value is not necessary to avoid exploitation if subjects benefit from participation. Although the standard arguments for a social value requirement do not succeed, that view might be justified in a different way. It might be justified by appeal to the importance of social trust or the integrity of physician investigators. It is possible but doubtful that these arguments succeed
Keywords exploitation  research ethics  social value
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DOI 10.1111/bioe.12128
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Locating the Source of the Social Value Requirement.David Wendler - 2018 - Hastings Center Report 48 (6):33-35.
Paying People to Risk Life or Limb.Robert C. Hughes - forthcoming - Business Ethics Quarterly:1-22.

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