Published on: July 16, 2016

Medical Ethics“It is precisely because we are a poor country that we cannot afford not to do research,” said Jawaharlal Nehru. So meaningful. Do we really know what exactly are the issues adversely affecting the quality of life of the villager from U.P admitted to the Sufderjung hospital in Delhi with advanced cancer? And of his family? And do we really know what interventions are the best for them?

But in the context of medicine, research is a bad word in India now. Human beings were subjected to such unethical experimentation that the Supreme Court asked, “Are Indians all Guinea pigs?” There has been a backlash.

On 15 July 2015, ethicists and researchers got together with clinicians in Pallium India’s Trivandrum Institute of Palliative Sciences (TIPS) for a day of learning on ethics of research. We thank the faculty members, Dr Mala Ramanathan and Dr Anoop Kumar Thekkuveettil, and the Institutional ethics committee of TIPS led by its chairman Justice M. R. Hariharan Nair.

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