Belmont Report Essays

1267 Words Nov 21st, 2012 6 Pages
Belmont Report: Informed Consent and Subject Selection

In the famous Belmont Report, several guidelines regarding informed consent, assessment of risk and benefits, and selection of subjects in addition to ethical practice and procedure in the area of human research are outlined. The Belmont Report attempts to summarize the basic ethical principles identified by the National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research (Belmont Report, 1979). In particular I would like to discuss the standards for informed consent, assessment of risk and benefits, and selection of test subjects drawn out by the Belmont Report. These three areas of interest are said to be the applications of the general
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In the artificial heart case, the physicians and cardiologists had an even greater obligation to make sure the risks of the procedure were understood by the patients because of the complexity and dangerousness of the procedure. In certain cases where the autonomy of the patient is diminished, information should be given to a third party member who will most likely take in to account the interest of the incompetent subject. The third area of consideration under informed consent is voluntariness. An agreement to participate in research constitutes a valid consent only if voluntarily given. This means that the notion of volunteering must be given free of undue influence. Things such as offering obscene amounts of money and/or other types of reward for participation in the study are unwarranted and are considered to present pressure on the subject. The second application of the general principles is assessment of risks and benefits. The risks and benefits application can be closely associated with the principle of beneficence. Risks are potential harms to the subject involved. Harms to the subject can involve everything from psychological harm to social and legal harms. The assessment of harm should be based on whether the risk of harm is minimized. Then one must assess whether the benefits eclipse the risks overall. The justifiability of research should include the following considerations: (1) Brutal or inhumane treatment of human

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