Clinical research has at least three problematic features: it tends to be redundant, secretive, and isolated. Research with these features not only wastes resources and causes harm, it also fails to meet a basic ethical requirement of research: scientific validity. According to a recent editorial in the BMJ, bioethicists and members of research ethics committees have been “notable by their absence” among those exposing persistent problems with clinical research and proposing solutions (Chalmers, Glasziou, and Godlee, BMJ 346, 2013, f105). In this paper I offer a theoretical diagnosis for the complicity of bioethicists and research ethics committees in these ongoing problems, as well as a partial solution in the form of a modified ethical requirement of scientific integrity.


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pp. 385-411
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