Guidelines for research among Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders were approved by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) in 1991. The recommendations seem more stringent than those previously published by the NHMRC for medical research in general. Several States independently have proposed or promulgated similar guidelines for Aboriginal research. This paper indicates the themes common to such guidelines and how they seek both to redress past faults and to encourage a greater participation and authority by Aboriginal communities when research is conducted among them. It is suggested that the guidelines raise questions about the control of research and the role of consumer groups that are of far-reaching importance to medicine.