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Proposed restrictions on the publication of transplant research involving prisoners

This month's Liver Transplantation examines the proposed restrictions on the publication of transplant research involving prisoners, strengthening protections for human subjects.

News image

Publication is one of the primary rewards in the academic research community and is the first step in the dissemination of a new discovery that could lead to recognition and opportunity.

Because of this, the publication of research can serve as a tacit endorsement of the methodology behind the science.

The calculated pooled gastric cancer incidence-rate was about 0.3% per person-years
Liver Transplantation

Dr Maryam Valapour and colleagues noted that this becomes a problem when vulnerable populations that are incapable of giving legitimate informed consent, such as prisoners, are used in research.

The problem is especially critical in the field of transplant research, in which unverified consent can enable research that exploits the vulnerabilities of prisoners, especially those awaiting execution.

Dr Valapoour's team commented "Because the doctrine of informed consent is central to the protection of vulnerable populations, we have performed a historical analysis of the standards of informed consent in codes of international human subject protections to form the foundation for our limit and ban recommendations."

"Limit the publication of transplant research involving prisoners in general and ban the publication of transplant research involving executed prisoners in particular."

Liver Transplantation 2013: 19(4): 362-368
17 April 2013

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