Although bioethics consultation has always drawn the ire of critics, its extension into areas such as paid consultation with private industry has raised new concerns. Critics of consulting relationships with industry question the sincerity of for-profit corporations who seek ethical advice, alleging that a desire for improved public relations is a primary motivation of these corporations. They also question whether compensation for ethical advice creates insuperable conflicts of interest that bias the work produced. The decision of two influential professional societies to establish a joint task force to examine bioethics consultation with industry reflects the seriousness of these and other concerns about this practice. The report of this task force, although controversial, has stimulated broad discussion about the ethical commitments of bioethicists and highlighted the need for clearer professional standards of conduct.
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DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0963180107070089
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