Ethics Displaced

The condemned CRISPR baby experiment could be an example of “ethics dumping.” This egregious research practice occurs when studies based in countries with stricter regulations (which are typically wealthier) are conducted in countries with more lax rules (which are typically poorer).
 
With globalization and increased collaboration comes the need for new research ground rules. An EU Commission sponsored an investigation into suspected ethics dumping cases. While some cases involved a lack of awareness of another country’s laws, the commission found many were “definite attempts to avoid legislation.”
 
The study resulted in a set of guidelines to inform future cross-national research practices: The Global Code of Conduct for Research in Resource-Poor Settings.
 
The Economist

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