When planning research in developing countries, researchers and sponsors may be subject to a wide range of national and international guidance, guidelines, declarations and regulations, including:read more »
We recognise that it would not be possible to formulate a robust set of guidelines for all situations. However, we identify four principles which should be taken into account by anyone who is designing or conducting healthcare research in developing countries. These are:
the duty to alleviate suffering
the duty to show respect for persons
Misunderstandings can occur when sponsors of research are unfamiliar with the cultural traditions of the country in which it is conducted. There will often be cultural differences between those organising or funding the research and the participants, for example, differing perspectives on respect for family and individuals, and the role of the community.read more »
Developing countries urgently need research to help relieve the enormous burden of disease that they carry. It is vital that those in wealthy countries, both in the public and private sector, help fund this research. However, the inequalities that exist between developed and developing countries create significant risks of exploitation when externally sponsored research is carried out.read more »
In February 1999 the Council hosted an international workshop on the ethical issues arising from research conducted in developing countries.
A discussion paper was produced, based on the deliberations and background papers presented at the workshop. It provides an introductory exploration of the key issues.
Downloadread more »
This discussion paper explores the practical implications of new and recently revised guidelines since the Council's previous report in 2002.
Download a table of comparison of guidance on research related to healthcare in developing countries (PDF 84 KB).
Four areas of international guidance are compared:
Guidance relating to consent
Many people in the developing world suffer from poor health and reduced life expectancy. The role of research that contributes to the development of appropriate treatments and disease prevention measures is vital.read more »
You can download the individual chapters of this report using the links below. (All files are PDFs and less than 300 KB)read more »
A follow-up workshop was held in February 2004 to explore developments in the area of research related to healthcare in developing countries.
The workshop was co-hosted by the Council and the South African MRC and was organised by an international Steering Committee.read more »
It is important to ensure that patients are protected if information about them is used in clinical trials.read more »