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REVIEW
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 121-126

Ethics in medical research


1 College of Medicine, Taibah University, Almadinah Almunawwarah, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Medical & Social Care Education, University of Leicester, PO Box 138, Leicester LE1 9HN, UK

Correspondence Address:
Salman Yousuf Guraya
College of Medicine, Taibah University, Almadinah Almunawwarah
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.1016/j.jmau.2014.03.003

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Ethics, an essential dimension of human research, is considered both as discipline and practice. For clinical research, ethically justified criteria for the design, conduct, and review of clinical investigation can be identified by obligations to both the researcher and human subject. Informed consent, confidentiality, privacy, privileged communication, and respect and responsibility are key elements of ethics in research. A systematic literature search of English-language articles on Medline, ISI web of knowledge, Sciencedirect, Google scholar, the Cochrane database of evidence-based reviews, and the Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects was performed by connecting the Mesh terms (“ethics”, “medical research”, research ethics”, “medical education”, “research ethics principles”. The abstracts of 461 articles were reviewed for the relevancy of topic and analyzed in terms of application and validity. Out of these, 21 studies were found relevant as they concentrated principles of ethics in medical research, their practical applications, and suggested guidelines for future research. Research ethics committees must promote greater understanding of ethical issues on biomedical research. These committees function for submission, consideration, evaluation, and communication of findings. Application, research protocol, patient information leaflet and informed consent form, and any other supporting documentation are thoroughly reviewed by research ethics committees for legal and moral safety, integrity, and welfare of the research subjects.


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