Beyond disclosure: The necessity of trust in biomedical research
Jeffrey P. Kahn, PhD, MPH
Maas Family Chair in Bioethics and Director, Center for Bioethics, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
Correspondence: Jeffrey P. Kahn, PhD, MPH, Maas Family Chair in Bioethics and Director, Center for Bioethics, University of Minnesota, N504 Boyn HS, 410 Church Street SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455; firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Kahn reported that he has no financial interests, relationships, or affiliations that pose a potential conflict of interest with this article.
Biomedical research is experiencing a crisis in public trust. Although the vast majority of clinical studies are conducted in an ethical fashion, public perceptions are fueled by well-publicized examples of unethical practices. Mistrust is further encouraged by the duality of the role of the clinical researcher, who is charged with both caring for patients and answering a research question. Disclosure is not adequate to fully address conflicts of interest in biomedical research; instead, efforts to protect patients' interests and enhance trust should combine disclosure with an attempt to reduce conflicts in the first place as much as possible.