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Publication: An Ethical Imperative
BMJ: British Medical Journal
Vol. 310, No. 6990 (May 20, 1995), pp. 1313-1315
Published by: BMJ
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/29727328
Page Count: 3
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Publication of medical research is both a monitor of the researcher's ethics and an audit of the local or regional ethics committee that approved it. Selectivity of publication or of the intention to publish lessens this audit. Opinions differ about what is ethically allowable in clinical and benchtop medical research. Ethical permission and ethical monitoring of medical research are subject to a hierarchy of pyramidal controls, starting in hospital and ending with the local, institutional, or regional ethics committee. Currently, such committees function with widely varying degrees of efficiency and quality of output, and with differing viewpoints on many ethical issues. Without an a priori insistence by institutional ethics committees that there be an intention to publish all medical research involving human subjects, ethics committees cannot routinely be subject to the scrutiny or audit which they themselves demand of researchers.
BMJ: British Medical Journal © 1995 BMJ