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Medical Research Ethics in Thailand: What Should Be the Most Appropriate Approach? An Analysis Based on Western Ethical Principles


Panuwat Lertsithichai MD*

* Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University


An approach to the ethical consideration of medical research in Thailand is presented in terms of Western principles. It is argued that at the present time the principle of therapeutic beneficence is to be considered a priority over respect for autonomy, expressed as informed consent. This approach is especially recommended for therapeutic research in an inpatient hospital setting in Thailand. Only when valid and effective informed consent processes have been developed should respect for autonomy be given more weight in research ethics considerations. The discussion is presented within the context of recent developments in the field of bioethics and in light of some recent findings in informed consent research both in and outside of Thailand.

Keyword : Medical research ethics, Autonomy, Beneficence, Informed consent

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