Justification of participation of human subjects in Phase 1 clinical trials: an ethical analysis
In the process of clinical trials, after ascertaining the safety of drugs or other therapeutic interventions in animals or in vivo, phase I clinical trials are conducted as initial step on healthy human volunteers (or patients with specific disease) to observe pharmacokinetics, safety and side effects associated with escalating doses of the drugs.
Participation of human subjects having different biological system than animals is not without risks in these trials; this fact raises some important ethical issues. In the light of international research ethics guidelines, this paper analyses moral justification of use of humans as research subjects in phase I clinical trials, discusses what groups of participants should be involved, their economic status, questionable coercive effect of monetary remuneration on the subjects and soundness of informed consent obtained for the trials. These issues are also discussed in the perspective of four founding principles of bioethics i.e. autonomy, justice, beneficence and non-maleficence.
Bangladesh Journal of Bioethics 2011; 2(2): 26-29
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