Undue Confusion: The Problem of Inducements to Participate in Clinical Research Trials
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There is concern that the use of financial incentives might exert an undue influence on potential research participants; unable to resist the lure of a large financial incentive, an individual might enroll in a trial against his or her better judgment. The purpose of this thesis is to examine the concept of undue inducement, and determine if the use of incentives in research is really problematic in this way. I suggest that ‘undue inducement’ mislabels a different problem --inadequate comprehension by research participants-- and argue that a strong comprehension requirement is the solution to the real problem raised by the use of incentives to participate in research. I also consider objections to a strong comprehension requirement, and examine whether a strong comprehension requirement provides a solution to the problems of coercion and exploitation in clinical research trials in the same way that it solves the problem of undue inducement.