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Medical Research in Developing Countries

Clinical research is essential for discovering new treatments and vaccines for a wide variety of conditions and diseases. As medical research often involves human subjects, it is imperative to acquire their informed consent and ensure their safety and well-being during the study. This critique will consider three articles on the subject of medical research in developing countries and examine the concerns raised by the authors on participant safety.

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The three selected articles discuss ethical considerations, policy-making, and cultural aspects of conducting research in developed countries. Thus, Shuchman illustrates how various Ebola vaccine trials operate in Africa and the medical care that the volunteers receive following inoculation. According to Shuchman, most research trials fail to provide participants with needed care, while the care in the Ebola treatment facilities is substandard (Shuchman 1934). Pentone and Fortwengel note that third-world countries are often chosen for trials due to low costs, easy recruitment, and lack of regulations (2). The authors note that such trials should consider seven ethical considerations, including “social value, scientific validity, fair subject selection, favorable risk-benefit ratio, independent review, informed consent” (Pentone and Fortwengel 2). Reynolds and Sariola note that community engagement is crucial for clinical trials and should be considered a vital part of the primary healthcare system (264). Furthermore, the authors state that in some cases, it may be vital for the success of many research studies. The three articles address different aspects of medical research in developing countries.

The selected works and the arguments provided by the authors are well-developed and supported by evidence. Nevertheless, they could be improved upon to better address medical research in third-world countries. Thus, Shuchman should have considered the measures that could be put in place to improve the post-inoculation care for Ebola trial volunteers. Specifically, the paper would have benefited from a deeper discussion on how cultural differences and the worldview of the research participants can inform future trials in the region. Similarly, Pentone and Fortwengel should have included a discussion on implications and future steps that can be taken to improve clinical research policies and procedures in developing countries. For example, Reynolds and Sariola proposed five implications for policy and practice, addressing the issues discussed earlier in their article. Overall, the reviewed works investigate different aspects of medical research in developing countries and how it can be improved to guarantee the safety of the participants and the scientific benefits of the trials.

Works Cited

Pentone, Alessandra, and Gerhard Fortwengel. “Socio-cultural and Ethical Aspects of Clinical Research in Developed and Developing Countries: Different Terms for Different Conditions.” Journal of Clinical Research and Bioethics, vol. 11, no. 1, 2020, pp. 1-6.

Reynolds, Lindsey, and Salla Sariola. “The Ethics and Politics of Community Engagement in Global Health Research.” Critical Public Health, vol. 28, no. 3, 2018, p. 257–268.

Shuchman, Miriam. “Ebola vaccine trial in West Africa faces criticism.” The Lancet, vol. 385, no. 9981, 2015, pp. 1933-1934.

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StudyCorgi. (2022, September 27). Medical Research in Developing Countries. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/medical-research-in-developing-countries/

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