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Getting the justification for research ethics review right
  1. Michael Dunn
  1. Correspondence to Dr Michael Dunn, The Ethox Centre, Department of Public Health, University of Oxford, Rosemary Rue Building, Old Road Campus, Headington, Oxford OX3 7LF, UK; michael.dunn{at}


Dyck and Allen claim that the current model for mandatory ethical review of research involving human participants is unethical once the harms that accrue from the review process are identified. However, the assumptions upon which the authors assert that this model of research ethics governance is justified are false. In this commentary, I aim to correct these assumptions, and provide the right justificatory account of the requirement for research ethics review. This account clarifies why the subsequent arguments that Dyck and Allen make in the paper lack force, and why the ‘governance problem’ in research ethics that they allude to ought to be explained differently.

  • Research Ethics
  • Ethics Committees/Consultation

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