J Med Ethics 36:708-711 doi:10.1136/jme.2010.035758
  • Controversy

Ancillary care duties: the demands of justice

  1. Carwyn Rhys Hooper
  1. Correspondence to Dr Carwyn Rhys Hooper, St George's, University of London, Centre for Medical & Healthcare Education, 4th Floor Hunter Wing, Cranmer Terrace, Tooting, London SW17 ORE, UK; hoopercarwyn{at}
  • Received 28 January 2010
  • Revised 26 May 2010
  • Accepted 13 June 2010
  • Published Online First 31 July 2010


Ancillary care is care that research participants need that is not essential to make the research safe or scientifically valid and is not needed to remedy injuries that eventuate as a result of the research project itself. Ancillary care duties have recently been defended on the grounds of beneficence, entrustment, utility and consent. Justice has also been mentioned as a possible basis of ancillary care duties, but little attention has been paid to this approach. In this paper, the author seeks to rectify this omission by arguing that ancillary care duties can be based on a principle of justice as rectification.


  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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