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Developed countries should not impose ethics on other countries

BMJ 2002; 325 doi: (Published 12 October 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;325:796
  1. Tessa Richards
  1. BMJ

    Ethical codes drawn up predominantly by experts from developed countries should not be imposed on the rest of the world, an African epidemiologist told a conference of European medical ethicists last week.

    “Dogmatic interpretation of universal ethical principles in medical research will paralyse research efforts to improve HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment in sub-Saharan Africa,” Dr Nicolas Meda, an epidemiologist from Burkina Faso, warned the meeting in Brussels.

    Health research in poor countries should be designed and conducted pragmatically, taking into account local health needs and priorities, he said.

    The meeting was organised by the European Group on Medical Ethics, a body appointed by the European Commission to advise it on ethical aspects of …

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