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Michael Freeman and Andrew Lewis

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780198299189

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198299189.001.0001

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Research on Human Subjects, Exploitation, and Global Principles of Ethics

Research on Human Subjects, Exploitation, and Global Principles of Ethics

Chapter:
Research on Human Subjects, Exploitation, and Global Principles of Ethics
Source:
Law and Medicine
Author(s):

John Harris

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198299189.003.0023

In 1997, 5.8 million people became infected with HIV, 30.6 million people are living with HIV/AIDS, and infection is running at about 16,000 new infections a day, of which more than 90% are in low-income countries. If current transmission rates continue, there will be more than forty million people infected with HIV by the millennium. While a cure for AIDS remains elusive, research to discover more effective treatment and possible vaccines is vital. It is at this crucial moment that moral criticism has emerged of some of the most promising research towards treatments and vaccines for HIV/AIDS. This criticism has focused on, and purports to be justified by, the major current international principles and protocols on the ethics of research on human subjects. This chapter attempts to provide an appropriate framework for assessing the ethics of research on human subjects generally, and in doing so, assesses the relevance and force of the major ethical criticisms that have been levelled at current research on human subjects in the context of HIV/AIDS therapy and vaccines.

Keywords:   medical research, medical ethics, human research subjects, AIDS research, HIV

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