This article aims to discuss the complexity of the debate on ethics in research in Brazil, mainly from the 1990s. Therefore, it begins with a brief contextualization of contemporary bioethics and how its codes and principles gave shape and form to the CEP / CONEP system methodology. Then, reflecting on the national institutionalization of ethical regulation in research, the article suggests that instruments, committees and regulatory procedures not only ethically evaluate research conducted in Brazil, as they configure the meaning of "ethics" to be made and evaluated. In this sense, the article brings aspects of the debate developed in the Social Anthropology publications that stress the need to expand the terms of the setting of "ethics" and work for their (re)politicization.
ethics; research; human subjects; Social Anthropology.