Cadernos de Saúde Pública
On-line version ISSN 1678-4464
Print version ISSN 0102-311X
KOTTOW, Miguel H.. Ethical conflicts in research with human subjects. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2005, vol.21, n.3, pp.862-869. ISSN 1678-4464. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X2005000300020.
The Declaration of Helsinki (2000) helped trigger a major debate on many ethical aspects of research with human subjects. Topics under discussion include the use of placebos, the application of equipoise, the distinction between research ethics and clinical ethics, and the difference between therapeutic and non-therapeutic trials. This article supports tenets that serve to protect patients involved in research, especially in those aspects concerning maintenance of best existing therapy, the rejection of using placebos, support of equipoise, the assurance that required medication shall be available beyond the termination of the research project, and that appropriate compensation will obtain to host communities inasmuch as they may have facilitated and supported the project. The current proposal of introducing a double ethical standard, aspirational for developed countries and pragmatic for poor nations, should be rejected, since it contravenes the universalizability of prescriptive ethics.
Keywords : Research, Ethics; Helsinki Declaration; Placebos.