Shading the truth in seeking informed consent for research purposes

Kennedy Inst Ethics J. 1995 Mar;5(1):1-17. doi: 10.1353/ken.0.0116.


I want to argue for two propositions. First, I suggest that what some researchers may take to be a simple trade-off between minor violations of the truth for the sake of access to far greater truths represents a profound miscalculation with far-reaching and cumulative reverberations. Second, I submit that today's research environment, as demanding, competitive, and sometimes bewildering as it is, offers genuine scope for what Murdoch calls truth-seeking, for imaging and questioning, and for relating to facts through both truth and truthfulness; but that, in so doing, it presents hard choices with respect to methods, and, in turn, to personal integrity--not only in particular research projects but also with respect to that fragile research environment in its own right.

MeSH terms

  • Anonymous Testing
  • Behavioral Research*
  • Codes of Ethics
  • Disclosure*
  • Ethics Committees, Research
  • Ethics, Medical*
  • Humans
  • Informed Consent*
  • Morals
  • Research / standards*
  • Research Subjects
  • Researcher-Subject Relations
  • Risk Assessment
  • Social Values*
  • Trust*
  • Truth Disclosure*
  • United States
  • Virtues