Bioinformation

Fingerprinting and DNA profiling are valuable tools in the fight against crime, but there is a debate about whether police powers to keep people's details on record are justified.
This report uses the principle of proportionality as a basis for recommendations in a number of areas including the use of the National DNA Database.

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Research in developing countries: follow-up

This discussion paper is a follow-up to the Council’s 2002 report on the ethics of research related to healthcare in developing countries.
It explores the practical implications of new and revised guidelines from several international organisations, which were discussed at a workshop in Cape Town in February 2004.

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Research in developing countries

Developing countries urgently need research to help relieve the burden of disease. It is vital that wealthier countries help sponsor this research, but rigorous ethical safeguards are needed to prevent the exploitation of those who take part.

This report defines the ethical standards for healthcare research in developing countries.

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'Biofuels: ethical issues' report launch

The Council will publish a report on the ethical issues raised by biofuels on 13 April 2011.

This report follows an 18-month inquiry chaired by Professor Joyce Tait, Scientific Adviser to the Innogen Centre at Edinburgh University.

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Research in developing countries - Framework of guidance

Download a PDF of Chapter 5 - Framework of guidance (75 KB)

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:

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Research in developing countries - Ethical framework

Download a PDF of Chapter 4 - The ethical framework (42 KB)

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

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Research in developing countries - Exploratory workshop: discussion paper (1999)

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.

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The ethics of clinical research in developing countries: a Discussion Paper (PDF 329KB)

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Research in developing countries: follow-up - Comparison of guidance

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

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