Determining whether a research risk meets or exceeds a regulatory standard of risk acceptability is difficult. Recently a framework called the systematic evaluation of research risks (SERR) has been proposed as a method of comparing research risks with predetermined standards of acceptability. SERR purports to offer a systematic and largely determinate (definite) way to compare risks and say whether a specific research risk falls below or above an acknowledged standard of acceptable risk. Here the authors review some philosophical problems with this framework, which they take to be representative of determinate approaches to risk comparison, and conclude that it should not be used in a stand-alone or determinate fashion. Instead, the authors suggest that a deliberative approach may be a more viable candidate for future development. Such an approach could be informed by methods such as SERR without being rigidly bound to them.
- animal experimentation
- applied and professional ethics
- research ethics
- research ethics
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.
Competing interests None.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Read the full text or download the PDF:
Other content recommended for you
- Eliminating the daily life risks standard from the definition of minimal risk
- Drug development for children: how adequate is the current European ethical guidance?
- Reconsidering ‘minimal risk’ to expand the repertoire of trials with waiver of informed consent for research
- Ethics review of research: in pursuit of proportionality
- Ethical issues of clinical trials in children: a European perspective
- Challenge studies of human volunteers: ethical issues
- Process of risk assessment by research ethics committees: foundations, shortcomings and open questions
- An empirical approach for defining acceptable levels of risk: a case study in team sports
- The harm susceptibility model: a method to prioritise risks identified in patient safety reporting systems
- Benefits and harms associated with hormone replacement therapy: clinical decision analysis