Ethical Considerations for Research Involving Prisoners

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Link to the National Academies Report Ethical Considerations for Research Involving Prisoners

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Because prisoners face restrictions on liberty and autonomy, have limited privacy, and often receive inadequate health care, they require specific protections when involved in research, particularly in today's correctional settings. Given these issues, the Department of Health and Human Services' Office for Human Research Protections commissioned the Institute of Medicine to review the ethical considerations regarding research involving prisoners.

The resulting analysis contained in this book emphasizes five broad actions to provide prisoners involved in research with critically important protections: expand the definition of 'prisoner'; ensure universally and consistently applied standards of protection; shift from a category-based to a risk-benefit approach to research review; update the ethical framework to include collaborative responsibility; and enhance systematic oversight of research involving prisoners.

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