Fair Subject Selection in Clinical and Social Scientific Research

In Ana S. Iltis & Douglas MacKay (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Research Ethics. New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press (2020)
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This chapter provides a critical overview and interpretation of fair subject selection in clinical and social scientific research. It first provides an analytical framework for thinking about the problem of fair subject selection. It then argues that fair subject selection is best understood as a set of four subprinciples, each with normative force and each with distinct and often conflicting implications for the selection of participants: fair inclusion, fair burden sharing, fair opportunity, and fair distribution of third-party risks. It then defends an approach to navigating the conflicting imperatives of these subprinciples, one which privileges the need to include epistemically distinct groups in research, before concluding by considering the most pressing research questions regarding fair subject selection.

Author's Profile

Douglas MacKay
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill


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