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Withdrawing from research: a rethink in the context of research biobanks.

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  • Philosophy


It is generally assumed in research ethics that research participants have an unconditional right to withdraw from research without any detriment or reprisal. This paper analyses this right in the context of biobank research and argues that the traditional shape of the right in clinical research can be modified in biobank research without incurring significant ethical cost. The paper falls in three parts. The first part is a brief explication of the philosophical justification of the right to withdraw. The second part presents a number of extant criticisms of the right. And the third and final part argues that although a right to withdraw is crucial in relation to biobank research, such a right has to be specified in a different way to the similar right in relation to clinical research.

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