Health researchers' ancillary care obligations in low-resource settings: how can we tell what is morally required?

Kennedy Inst Ethics J. 2011 Dec;21(4):311-47. doi: 10.1353/ken.2011.0019.


Health researchers working in low-resource settings often encounter serious unmet health needs among participants. What is the nature and extent of researchers' obligations to respond to such needs? Competing accounts have been proposed, but there is no independent standard by which to assess them or to guide future inquiry. I propose an independent standard and demonstrate its use. In conclusion I recommend two areas of focus for future inquiry: what makes an account of researchers' obligations reasonable from the standpoint of both participants and researchers and how general duties of rescue apply to researchers' resource-allocation decision making in low-resource settings.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Trials as Topic / ethics*
  • Delivery of Health Care / ethics*
  • Delivery of Health Care / standards
  • Delivery of Health Care / trends
  • Developing Countries* / economics
  • Health Care Rationing / ethics
  • Health Resources* / ethics
  • Health Resources* / statistics & numerical data
  • Health Services Needs and Demand / economics
  • Health Services Needs and Demand / ethics
  • Health Services Research / ethics
  • Human Experimentation / ethics*
  • Humans
  • Moral Obligations*
  • Poverty
  • Research Personnel / ethics*
  • Research Subjects* / economics