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BMC Medical Ethics

, 13:34

First Online: 12 December 2012Received: 30 July 2012Accepted: 29 November 2012


BackgroundResearch ethics guidelines are essential for conducting medical research. Recently, numerous attempts have been made to establish national clinical research documents in the countries of the Middle East. This article analyzes these documents.

MethodsThirteen Arab countries in the Middle East were explored for available national codes, regulations, and guidelines concerning research ethics, and 10 documents from eight countries were found. We studied these documents, considering the ethical principles stated in the Declaration of Helsinki, the Council for International Organizations of Medical Sciences CIOMS guidelines, and the International Conference of Harmonization - Guidelines for Good Clinical Practice ICH-GCP. Our paper comprises a complete list of protections, such as confidentiality, informed consent, ethics committees, and others.

ResultsThis study found different levels and kinds of research ethics regulations and guidelines in the countries examined. Two groups can be distinguished: the countries in the first group have one or more research ethics regulations or guidelines, while the countries in the second group have not yet established any. Most of the documents showed various degrees of deficiencies in regard to ethical protection. The majority of the documents that were examined refer to one or more international documents on biomedical research ethics.

ConclusionsRecently, a lot of efforts have been made in many countries in the Middle East. However, compared with international documents, most of the research ethics documents in use in this region demonstrate numerous deficiencies. As it relates to these documents, extensive differences could be observed in regard to development, structure, content, and reference to international guidelines.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1472-6939-13-34 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Autor: Ghiath Alahmad - Mohammad Al-Jumah - Kris Dierickx


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