Research ethics for a globalised world: the revised CIOMS international guidelines

Hans-Jöerg Ehni, Urban Wiesing

DOI: 10.20529/IJME.2017.046


On December 6, 2016, the Council of International Organisations of Medical Sciences published a new version of its guidelines with the title “International Ethical Guidelines for Health-related Research Involving Humans.” In this article we briefly describe the revision process and the structure and content of these guidelines. We outline some of its main guidelines such as the ones on social value, post-trial access, and risk-benefit ratio. In our overall evaluation we come to the conclusion that the CIOMS guidelines manage to strike a balance between the protection of human participants in health-related research and the promotion of such research activities in an exemplary way. The guidelines combine key principles with a guide to their application based on the state of the art in research ethics. Thus they represent a timely and indispensable orientation for researchers, ethics committees, and other stakeholders in health-related research.

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