CIOMS guidelines remain conservative about vulnerability and social justice

Calvin Wai-Loon Ho

DOI: 10.20529/IJME.2017.061


Abstract

This paper begins by considering how the revised CIOMS guidelines have progressed beyond a mere labelling approach in the handling of vulnerability. However, progress is limited as the guidelines remain fixated on voluntariness and harm reduction or prevention. Although these are important considerations, vulnerability could also serve as a robust analytic for the evaluation of situational and pathogenic (or structural) contributions to susceptibilities to harm. They could also provide better guidance on how to differentiate among varying types and degrees of harm, rather than merely noting their presence. The paper concludes by considering vulnerability in relation to especially vulnerable children in health research.

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