This thematic report provides an overview of ethics and ethical reviews in biomedical research. The purpose of the document is to brief non-specialists on the key aspects of the evolution and current debate of biomedical research ethics and assessment of proposed research by ethics committees or review boards. The briefing highlights principle areas of consensus and tension, and outlines different approaches to the formal ethical scrutiny of proposed research. Its overarching theme and international scope complements other country-specific briefings within RAND Europe’s Health Research System Observatory. The report will be of interest to government officials dealing with biomedical research policy, medical research councils, biomedical research charities, institutions hosting biomedical research projects, researchers, and patients.
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