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Medical News & Perspectives
June 17, 1998

Compensation for Injured Research Subjects

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JAMA. 1998;279(23):1854. doi:10.1001/jama.279.23.1854-JMN0617-2-1

"The institution will not provide you with financial compensation or reimbursement for the cost of care provided to treat a research-related injury or for other expenses arising from a research-related injury."

THESE WORDS are from one institution's consent form to be signed by prospective participants in a clinical study. Many institutions include a similar message in their research consent form.

"I think that's unconscionable. After all, the subjects are rendering a form of public service," said Harold Y. Vanderpool, PhD, professor of the history and philosophy of medicine at University of Texas Graduate School of the Biomedical Sciences in Galveston, in an interview. A number of clinical investigators agree with him and are out to change the situation. They want full medical care provided, for as long as is necessary, to research subjects who may experience adverse effects as a result of participating in a clinical study.

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