Regulations, conflicts and ethics of medical research in developing countries

The patient is the subject who may meet the needs and interests of medical investigators for their research. This intrinsic conflict becomes more evident and shows particularities in the context of research projects involving clinical trials in developing countries. Target populations in these countries have inadequate access to health services, little understanding of risks involved in a study and also less capacity to claim judicially in the event of damage. In general, the discussions on ethics in research in industrialized countries are characterized by a biomedical approach of disease, and a neoliberal vision of economy and trade. In fact, most biomedical research has been directed to benefit already privileged communities. Therefore, it is necessary to minimize the risk of exploitation of developing countries populations. The present study provides an outlook of ethical protection for human research in developing countries.

Clinical trials; Ethics, research; Ethics committees, research; Biomedical research; Human experimentation; Developing countries


Faculdade de Saúde Pública da Universidade de São Paulo Avenida Dr. Arnaldo, 715, 01246-904 São Paulo SP Brazil, Tel./Fax: +55 11 3061-7985 - São Paulo - SP - Brazil
E-mail: revsp@usp.br