Ethical issues in palliative care research

Palliat Med. 1994 Oct;8(4):298-305. doi: 10.1177/026921639400800405.


Much has been written about the ethics of experimental research upon human subjects, particularly where such subjects can be said to be in a vulnerable position in relation to the researcher. This paper attempts to address such questions with reference to people who are dying. A case is made to defend the view that no research is morally justifiable with this client group. Less extreme views are also explored. One justification for such research activity comes from a rights-based perspective and another from the weighing of benefits and harms. In the process of exploring these issues, the author attempts to demonstrate that no research methodology can be said to be benign.

MeSH terms

  • Behavioral Research*
  • Clinical Nursing Research / methods
  • Ethics, Nursing*
  • Human Experimentation*
  • Humans
  • Informed Consent
  • Morals
  • Palliative Care*
  • Personal Autonomy
  • Qualitative Research
  • Research Design*
  • Research Subjects*
  • Researcher-Subject Relations*
  • Risk Assessment*
  • Social Values