Vulnerability, Vulnerable Populations, and Policy
Ruof, Mary C.
Within medical research and healthcare certain groups are afforded special protections and services because of their designation as vulnerable. The vulnerable require special justification to participate in human subject research in order to eliminate potential human rights abuses. The Nuremberg Code of 1947 was written in response to the extreme human subject abuses that occurred under the Nazi regime, and, although the intent of the 1947 Code was to protect human rights, rigid voluntary consent requirements deprived some individuals of the right to participate in clinical trials. Recent human research guidelines, such as the CIOMS/WHO guidelines referenced above and the guidelines referenced in Section V of this Scope Note, attempt to balance both protection from abuse in research and access to new, experimental treatments for the vulnerable.
Bioethics Research Library, Kennedy Institute of Ethics, Georgetown University
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