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Medical research in China must be more carefully regulated to protect the rights of participants in clinical trials, say Wang Ruotao and Gail E. Henderson.

Most ethical codes for medical research have been built on the principles of autonomy, beneficence and justice. But China's traditional virtue-based ethics focus on shared responsibility, which some argue weakens the protection of individual participants.

Clarifying how these principles and virtues can be used together to enhance the protection of medical research participants is essential, say the authors.

Civil society in China can call for better protection but economic incentives in medical practice and research exacerbate the potential for conflicts of interest.

The authors recommend that ethics committees be independent and supported to develop community engagement.

Link to full article in The Lancet*

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