The ethics of research related to healthcare in developing countries


Published 24/04/2002

HRRDC report cover
Health worker

Public Consultation

A public consultation was held between July 2000 and January 2001. During this time 70 responses were received from 20 different countries. Respondents included a number of relevant organisations such as research sponsors, research ethics committees and the pharmaceutical industry, and individuals with expertise in ethics, law, medical research, epidemiology, pharmaceutical sciences and health policy. The Working Party would like to thank everyone who contributed to the consultation.

Download the consultation paper.

The consultation was based on a discussion paper produced following an exploratory workshop in 1999 (see below). In addition to requesting general comments, the following specific questions were included:

What kind of healthcare-related research is most beneficial to developing countries? How can such research be encouraged?

What harm may be caused by healthcare-related research in developing countries? How may such harms be avoided or lessened?

From your perspective, what are the key ethical issues raised by healthcare-related research in developing countries?

Fact Finding Meetings

The Working Party held a number of fact-finding meetings with individuals and organisations as part of its research, including:

  • Dr Gill Samuels, Pfizer
  • Professor Daniel Wikler, World Health Organisation
  • Professor Don Bundy, The World Bank
  • Dr Nick Day, Centre for Tropical Medicine, University of Oxford
  • Dr PK Das, Vector Control Research Centre, Pondicherry, India
  • Dr Rani Balasubramanian, Tuberculosis Research Centre (TRC), Chennai, India
  • Dr VK Srinivasan, Indian Institute of Economics
  • Professor Barry Bloom, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, US
  • Dr Eric Meslin, National Bioethics Advisory Commission (NBAC), Washington, US
  • Dr Imogen Evans, Medical Research Council (MRC) UK
  • Dr Richard Lane, The Wellcome Trust

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.