On the Exploitation of Research Subjects
Faculty of Health Sciences, Western University, London, Ontario, Canada
- *Corresponding Author:
- Ken Kirkwood
Faculty of Health Sciences
London, Ontario, Canada
E-mail: [email protected]
Received date: July 26, 2012; Accepted date: November 15, 2012; Published date: November 24, 2012
Citation: Kirkwood K (2012) On the Exploitation of Research Subjects. J Clinic Res Bioeth 3:138. doi:10.4172/2155-9627.1000138
Copyright: © 2012 Kirkwood K, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
The issue of vulnerable populations in research is a highly contested one. The debate is highly charged and illuminative, but misguided in terms of its practical value. The error in much of the current debate involves trying to objectively define the subjective emotional experiences of individuals, and worse still, to create protections from this abstract standardization of individual experience. The purpose of vulnerability debates is about protecting those who are in no position to fully defend their interests from exploitation. Therefore the point of this article is to articulate the futility of operationalizing vulnerability and to instead focus on exploitation as the key moral variable in research ethics.