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How Should We Treat the Vulnerable? Qualitative Study of Authoritative Ethics Documents


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Zagorac, Ivana. (2016). How Should We Treat the Vulnerable? Qualitative Study of Authoritative Ethics Documents. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, 27(4). pp. 1656-1673. ISSN 1049-2089

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The aim of this study is to explore what actual guidance is provided by authoritative ethics documents regarding the recognition and protection of the vulnerable. The documents included in this analysis are the Belmont Report, the Declaration of Helsinki, The Council for International Organizations of Medical Sciences (CIOMS) Guidelines, and the UNESCO Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights, including its supplementary report on vulnerability. A qualitative analysis of these documents was conducted in light of three questions: what is vulnerability, who are the vulnerable, and how should the vulnerable be protected? The results show significant differences among the documents regarding the first two questions. None of the documents provides any guidance on the third question (how to protect the vulnerable). These results suggest a great discrepancy between the acknowledged importance of the concept of vulnerability and a general understanding of the scope, content, and practical implications of vulnerability.

Item Type: Article
Related URLs:
Uncontrolled Keywords: vulnerability, vulnerable populations, guideline, human research subject protection
Subjects: Philosophy
Departments: Department of Philosophy
Date Deposited: 20 Feb 2018 12:15
Last Modified: 20 Feb 2018 12:19

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