Principlism and the ethical appraisal of clinical trials.

Eric M. Meslin, Heather J. Sutherland, James V. Lavery, James E. Till

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

For nearly two decades, the process of reviewing the ethical merit of research involving human subjects has been based on the application of principles initially described in the U.S. National Commission's Belmont Report, and later articulated more fully by Beauchamp and Childress in their Principles of Biomedical Ethics. Recently, the use of ethical principles for deliberating about moral problems in medicine and research, referred to in the pejorative sense as "principlism", has come under scrutiny. In this paper we argue that these principles can provide a foundation for the source of ethical appraisal of human research, but are not themselves wholly adequate for this purpose. Therefore, we further propose that (1) principles should be understood as heuristics that can be "specified" as described by De Grazia (1992), and (2) that the principle-based approach should be supplemented by formally incorporating "sensitivity to context" into the evaluation of clinical trials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)399-418
Number of pages20
JournalBioethics
Volume9
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1995

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Principle-Based Ethics
Clinical Trials
Research
Bioethics
heuristics
moral philosophy
Medicine
medicine
evaluation
Principlism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

Cite this

Meslin, E. M., Sutherland, H. J., Lavery, J. V., & Till, J. E. (1995). Principlism and the ethical appraisal of clinical trials. Bioethics, 9(5), 399-418.

Principlism and the ethical appraisal of clinical trials. / Meslin, Eric M.; Sutherland, Heather J.; Lavery, James V.; Till, James E.

In: Bioethics, Vol. 9, No. 5, 10.1995, p. 399-418.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Meslin, EM, Sutherland, HJ, Lavery, JV & Till, JE 1995, 'Principlism and the ethical appraisal of clinical trials.', Bioethics, vol. 9, no. 5, pp. 399-418.
Meslin EM, Sutherland HJ, Lavery JV, Till JE. Principlism and the ethical appraisal of clinical trials. Bioethics. 1995 Oct;9(5):399-418.
Meslin, Eric M. ; Sutherland, Heather J. ; Lavery, James V. ; Till, James E. / Principlism and the ethical appraisal of clinical trials. In: Bioethics. 1995 ; Vol. 9, No. 5. pp. 399-418.
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