Biology Reference
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developing countries. One such way is to promote access to health care, as well
as health care training and education, as a standard and legitimate means of
sharing benefits for research involving minimal risk. To substantiate this recom-
mendation, one could argue that CIOMS supports it indirectly.
When research interventions or procedures that do not hold out the prospect of direct
benefit present more than minimal risk, all parties involved in the research - sponsors,
investigators and ethical review committees - in both funding and host countries should
be careful to avoid undue material inducement (CIOMS 2002 : guideline 7, commentary).
• In other words, concerns about undue inducement - which essentially aim to
avoid a situation where participants take risks with their health, against their
better judgement, in order to qualify for a benefit - are much less problematic
when a research intervention poses only minimal risk (for example, sample
donation). In such cases, the provision of health care (however extensive and
for however long) should not count as an undue inducement. On the contrary, it
should count as desirable benefit sharing.
• Overall, it is important not to lose sight of the bigger picture when discussing
benefit sharing. Research sponsors and funders are, after all, not the main duty
bearers for providing health care to those who cannot afford it. It is essential
to support and strengthen the capacity of national governments to discharge
their duties with regard to the right to health. Such support efforts should go
far beyond the monitoring of post-study obligations through research ethics
committees and concentrate on other factors, for instance the fact that - with
reference to the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property
Rights (TRIPS) and free trade agreements (FTAs) - 'TRIPS and FTAs have had
an adverse impact on prices and availability of medicines, making it difficult for
countries to comply with their obligations to respect, protect, and fulfil the right
to health' (Grover 2009 : paragraph 94). The next chapter will introduce a reform
plan which aims to contribute a part-solution to this problem.
• Last, but not least, Martin Luther King's country of birth, the United States,
should be put under pressure for opting out of the benefit-sharing frameworks of
the CBD and the Declaration of Helsinki.
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ASBH (1998) Core competencies for health care ethics consultation: The report of the SHHV-
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Humanities, Glenview
Ashcroft RE (2007) The ethics and governance of medical research. In: Ashcroft RE, Dawson A,
Draper H, McMillan JR (eds) Principles of health care ethics, 2nd edn. Wiley, Chichester, pp
Aulisio MP (2003) Ethics committees and ethics consultation. In: Post SG (ed) Encyclopedia of
bioethics, vol 2, 3rd edn. MacMillan Reference, New York, pp 841-847
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