The Right to Withdraw from Research

Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 20 (4):329-352 (2010)
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The right to withdraw from participation in research is recognized in virtually all national and international guidelines for research on human subjects. It is therefore surprising that there has been little justification for that right in the literature. We argue that the right to withdraw should protect research participants from information imbalance, inability to hedge, inherent uncertainty, and untoward bodily invasion, and it serves to bolster public trust in the research enterprise. Although this argument is not radical, it provides a useful way to determine how the right should be applied in various cases.

Author Profiles

G. Owen Schaefer
National University of Singapore


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