Exploring the risk/benefit balance in biomedical research: some considerations

Derrick Aarons


Risk and benefit assessment is one of the fundamental requirements in the ethical review of research involving human participants. As a result, researchers should evaluate and seek to minimize all foreseeable risks involved in their proposed research and members of research ethics committees should evaluate and balance the risks and potential benefits involved in each research proposal as a part of their ethical obligations regarding research protocols. However, current literature provides little detailed guidance on the specifics of how this balancing process should occur. Consequently, this article provides some details of the process to
balance risks and benefits in biomedical research and reminds members of research ethics committees of their responsibility to protect those who are vulnerable from exploitation in research projects.


Research subjects-Protocols-Ethics. Human experimentation. Ethics Committees, research. Research design. Health vulnerability.

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