Bioethicists have failed to understand the pervasively paternalistic character of research ethics. Not
only is the overall structure of research review and regulation paternalistic in some sense; even the way
informed consent is sought may imply paternalism. Paternalism has limits, however. Getting clear on the
paternalism of research ethics may mean some kinds of prohibited research should be reassessed.
Selgelid, Michael J.
A Tale of Two Studies: Ethics, Bioterrorism, and the Censorship of Science [Access article in PDF] Subject Headings:
Biology -- Research -- Moral and ethical aspects.
Biology -- Research -- Censorship.
Bioterrorism -- Prevention.
Some scientific research should not be published. The risks to national security and public health
override the social benefits of disseminating scientific results openly. Unfortunately, scientists themselves are
not in a position to know which studies to withhold from public view, as the National Research Council has
proposed. Yet neither can government alone be trusted to balance the competing interests at stake.