Two models of ethics committees

J Bioeth Inq. 2005;2(1):41-7. doi: 10.1007/BF02448814.


A distinction is made between two models of ethics committees. According to the Mirror Model, ethics committees ought to reflect the values of society. The Critical Model says committees are to critically examine these standards rather than merely reflect them. It is argued that the Critical Model should be accepted because a society's ethical standards can be mistaken and a society that has Critical rather than merely Mirror ethics committees is more likely to have such mistakes revealed. Some implications of the Critical Model are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Animal Care Committees / organization & administration
  • Animal Experimentation / ethics
  • Animals
  • Ethical Relativism
  • Ethical Review / standards*
  • Ethicists
  • Ethics
  • Ethics Committees / organization & administration*
  • Ethics Committees / standards
  • Ethics, Research*
  • Guidelines as Topic
  • Human Experimentation / ethics
  • Humans
  • Models, Organizational*
  • New Zealand
  • Paternalism
  • Professional Competence
  • Professional Role
  • Scientific Misconduct
  • Social Values