Protecting communities in research: current guidelines and limits of extrapolation

Nat Genet. 1999 Nov;23(3):275-80. doi: 10.1038/15455.


As genetic research increasingly focuses on communities, there have been calls for extending research protections to them. We critically examine guidelines developed to protect aboriginal communities and consider their applicability to other communities. These guidelines are based on a model of researcher-community partnership and span the phases of a research project, from protocol development to publication. The complete list of 23 protections may apply to those few non-aboriginal communities, such as the Amish, that are highly cohesive. Although some protections may be applicable to less-cohesive communities, such as Ashkenazi Jews, analysis suggests substantial problems in extending these guidelines in toto beyond the aboriginal communities for which they were developed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bioethics
  • Ethics, Professional
  • Genetic Research*
  • Guidelines as Topic*
  • HIV Infections
  • Humans
  • Informed Consent
  • Jews
  • Publishing / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Publishing / standards
  • Research / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Research / standards*
  • Research Design / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Research Design / standards
  • Research Personnel / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Research Personnel / standards
  • Third-Party Consent*
  • United States
  • United States Food and Drug Administration