Center for Bioethics Papers

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version

December 2002


Medical research that involves human subjects presents what appears to be an intractable ethical problem: patients are exposed to risks in order to create valuable knowledge. A central goal of research is to produce knowledge that is "important," "fruitful," or that will have "value." Indeed, federal regulations require that research risks be reasonable in proportion to potential benefits, and in proportion to the importance of the knowledge to be gained (45 CFR 46.111(a)(z)). Moreover, one reason that subjects participate inresearch is to produce knowledge that will benefit others.


Reprinted from IRB: Ethics and Human Research, Volume 24, Issue 6, December 2002, pages 1-6.
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NOTE: At the time of publication, the author Jonathan D. Moreno was affiliated with the University of Virginia. Currently May 2007, he is a faculty member in the Department of Bioethics at the Medical School of the University of Pennsylvania.



Date Posted: 29 May 2007