Justice (ethics)

In research ethics, justice is the fair selection of research participants. Justice is the ideal distribution of risks and benefits when scientists conducting clinical research are recruiting volunteer research participants to participate in clinical trials. The concept gives guidelines on how scientific objectives and not membership in either a privileged or vulnerable population should determine which members of which communities should meet inclusion criteria to participate in research in order to most equitably share the risks and benefits of the research.[citation needed]

Defining research justice

The most commonly recognized source for drawing attention to the importance of justice is the Belmont Report,[1] which used the term "justice" to describe a set of guidelines for the selection of research subjects.[2] This is a critical safeguard to making clinical research ethical.[3]


  1. ^ King, Ruth R. Faden, Tom L. Beauchamp, in collaboration with Nancy M.P. (1986). A history and theory of informed consent (first ed.). New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 216. ISBN 0-19-503686-7.
  2. ^ The National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research (April 18, 1979), "The Belmont Report", Ethical Principles and Guidelines for the Protection of Human Subjects of Research, retrieved 4 March 2012
  3. ^ Emanuel, E. J.; Wendler, D.; Grady, C. (2000). "What Makes Clinical Research Ethical?". JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association. 283 (20): 2701–2711. doi:10.1001/jama.283.20.2701. PMID 10819955.

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