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

5 Scopus citations

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 (US)
Pages (from-to)399-418
Number of pages20
JournalBioethics
Volume9
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Philosophy
  • Health Policy

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    MESLIN, ERIC. M., SUTHERLAND, HEATHER. J., LAVERY, JAMES. V., & TILL, JAMES. E. (1995). PRINCIPLISM AND THE ETHICAL APPRAISAL OF CLINICAL TRIALS. Bioethics, 9(4), 399-418. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8519.1995.tb00314.x