AN academic physician was once heard to remark, “If it weren't for the patients, we could get a lot of work done around here.” This obviously facetious comment reflects a fundamental and profound conflict faced by those who do research on human subjects: the doctor's obligation as personal caretaker of an individual patient versus his obligation to advance knowledge for the benefit of society as a whole. This potential conflict is not realized in all cases. Often the patient's best interests, as well as society's, are served when the patient is a research subject. It is the possibility that a.
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