A duty to participate in research: Does social context matter?

American Journal of Bioethics 8 (10):28 – 36 (2008)

Because of the important benefits that biomedical research offers to humans, some have argued that people have a general moral obligation to participate in research. Although the defense of such a putative moral duty has raised controversy, few scholars, on either side of the debate, have attended to the social context in which research takes place and where such an obligation will be discharged. By reflecting on the social context in which a presumed duty to participate in research will obtain, this article shows that decontextualized discussions of this putative moral obligation are problematic.
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