Biology Reference
In-Depth Information
Chapter 2
Exploring Central Philosophical Concepts
in Benefit Sharing: Vulnerability,
Exploitation and Undue Inducement
Gardar Arnason and Doris Schroeder
Abstract The philosophical principle behind benefit sharing is simple. Those who
contribute to scientific research ought to share in its benefits. This is a matter of
justice. If benefit sharing does not take place, exploitation may have occurred. Such
exploitation is particularly problematic if it involves vulnerable populations. To
counter the claim that contributors to research ought to receive benefits, the spec-
tre of 'undue inducement' has been raised: vulnerable populations should not be
offered benefits for taking part in research, otherwise they might consent to partici-
pate against their better judgment - and the more vulnerable the population is, the
more of an inducement even the smallest benefit could be. Global research ethics
aims to avoid both the exploitation of research participants and undue inducement;
as neither is morally acceptable. This chapter charts the philosophical groundings
of the debate by defining vulnerability, exploitation and undue inducement. It con-
cludes that in research which involves only minimal risk for participants, such as
the donation of genetic samples, concerns about undue inducement are largely mis-
placed, and should not be used by researchers and funders to circumvent their clear
benefit sharing responsibilities.
Keywords  Beneit sharing • Exploitation • Vulnerability • Undue inducement
G. Arnason ( * )
Leibniz Universität Hannover, Institut für Philosophie, Im Moore 21, 30167 Hannover,
D. Schroeder
UCLAN, Centre for Professional Ethics, Brook 317, Preston PR1 2HE, UK
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