oa South African Journal of Bioethics and Law - What is the function of research ethics committees (RECs)? : editorial

Volume 3, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1999-7639



Carol Levine stated in 1988 that ethics in research was '... born in scandal and reared in protectionism'. To answer the question 'What is the function of RECs?', it would be necessary to understand the notion of ethics in research from the perspective of past tragedies. There are many examples of studies in the health context where vulnerabilities of research participants have been exploited. Violations of participants' rights and dignities have in many instances resulted in morbidity and mortality, costing them their health and even their lives.

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