Disclosure is Inadequate as a Solution to Managing Conflicts of Interest in Human Research
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Disclosure is a common response to conflicts of interest; it is intended to expose the conflict to scrutiny and enable it to be appropriately managed. For disclosure to be effective the receiver of the disclosure needs to be able to use the information to assess how the conflict may impact on their interests and then implement a suitable response. The act of disclosure also creates an expectation of self-regulation, as the person with the conflicting interests will be mindful of their own potential biases and aware that their decisions may be monitored. This article discusses some of the problems of relying on disclosure as a solution to address conflicts of interest in research, including the added complexities around institutional conflicts of interest. The case of Dan Markingson illustrates these issues and highlights the vulnerable position relying on disclosure as a solution leaves research participants in.
KeywordsResearch ethics Disclosure Conflicts of Interest Dan Markingson
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