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We could be heroes: ethical issues with the pre-recruitment of research participants
  1. David Hunter
  1. Professor David Hunter, Southgate Institute, Flinders University, Bedford Park, Adelaide, SA 5050, Australia; david.hunter{at}


Pre-recruitment is the practice of recruiting potential participants to a list of potential research volunteers in general rather than to a specific research project. This is a relatively common practice in commercial medical research as it reduces the time and hence costs of recruitment and makes it possible to be more efficient by recruiting participants who may be useful for a variety of different pieces of research. It focuses on present practices in the UK although the conclusions and suggestions should be read more widely than this, applying in any situation where pre-recruitment is used as a recruitment tool for clinical trials and beyond. Current pre-recruitment practices in the UK clash significantly with what are seen as best practices and ethical guidance with regard to recruiting participants to individual trials, and insofar as this undermines these practices should be reformed.

  • Clinical trials
  • Informed Consent
  • Policy Guidelines/Inst. Review Boards/Review Cttes.
  • Regulation
  • Research Ethics

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