Inducements revisited

Bioethics. 1999 Apr;13(2):114-30. doi: 10.1111/1467-8519.00136.


The paper defends the permissibility of paying inducements to research subjects against objections not covered in an earlier paper in Bioethics. The objections are that inducements would cause inequity, crowd out research, and undesirably commercialize the researcher-subject relationship. The paper shows how these objections presuppose implausible factual and/or normative claims. The final position reached is a qualified defence of freedom of contract which not only supports the permissibility of inducements but also offers guidance to ethics committees in dealing with practical problems that might arise if inducements are offered.

MeSH terms

  • Altruism
  • Behavioral Research
  • Biomedical Research
  • Commodification
  • Contracts
  • Economics
  • Ethics Committees
  • Ethics Committees, Research
  • Ethics*
  • Fees and Charges*
  • Financial Support
  • Freedom*
  • Gift Giving
  • Human Experimentation*
  • Humans
  • Motivation*
  • Nontherapeutic Human Experimentation
  • Patient Selection
  • Poverty
  • Research
  • Research Personnel
  • Research Subjects*
  • Researcher-Subject Relations
  • Risk Assessment*
  • Risk*
  • Social Change
  • Social Justice
  • Volunteers