Research ethics and forensic patients

Can J Psychiatry. 2000 Dec;45(10):892-8. doi: 10.1177/070674370004501003.


Objective: To discuss ethical and legal issues arising from research conducted on forensic psychiatric patients.

Method: A review of the literature and ethical and legal guidelines related to research ethics with human subjects.

Conclusion: Forensic patients who are research subjects are particularly vulnerable to coercion and abuse as a result of the dual vulnerabilities stemming from their status as both prisoners and psychiatric patients. Researchers in the area of forensic mental health must carefully consider ethical guidelines and ensure that the rights of participants are respected and upheld.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Canada
  • Ethics, Medical*
  • Forensic Psychiatry / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Human Experimentation / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Humans
  • Informed Consent / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Insanity Defense*
  • Male
  • Mental Competency / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Prisoners / legislation & jurisprudence*