The limits of research institutions in setting research priorities

Journal of Medical Ethics 43 (12):810-811 (2017)
  Copy   BIBTEX


In When Clinical Trials Compete: Prioritizing Study Recruitment, Gelinas et al tackle an important issue—study non-completion—and draw conclusions with which we largely agree. Most importantly, we accept that setting priorities among competing research studies is necessary and should be informed by ethical analysis. We disagree with the conclusion of Gelinas et al that this priority setting should take place at the level of the individual research institution. At a minimum, they should consider other actors who might be better suited for this role instead of—or alongside—the institutions that host research. Our view is motivated by three main considerations. First, research institutions have significant latitude to promote their own interests, and there is reason to suspect that their interests do not closely align with the interests of the public. Thus, asking research institutions to set research priorities may result in the selection of studies with suboptimal social value. Second, a large proportion of clinical trials recruits participants at multiple institutions.1 If each institution sets its own priorities, we can expect discrepancies between the priorities set by partner institutions. These discrepancies may delay and discourage collaborative research projects. Finally, we suspect that a great deal of recruitment competition occurs between, rather than within, research institutions. Setting priorities only at …



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 93,031

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Priority, prediction and the ethical research enterprise.Spencer Phillips Hey - 2017 - Journal of Medical Ethics 43 (12):812-813.
Setting Research Priorities.Tom Obengo & Jantina de Vries - 2023 - In Susan Bull, Michael Parker, Joseph Ali, Monique Jonas, Vasantha Muthuswamy, Carla Saenz, Maxwell J. Smith, Teck Chuan Voo, Katharine Wright & Jantina de Vries (eds.), Research Ethics in Epidemics and Pandemics: A Casebook. Springer Verlag. pp. 23-40.
The role of research in setting priorities for health care.Kathleen N. Lohr - 1996 - Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 2 (1):79-82.


Added to PP

28 (#588,332)

6 months
6 (#588,512)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Joseph Millum
University of St. Andrews