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Moral Interests, Privacy and Medical Research

Beyleveld, D.; Pattinson, Shaun D.

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Michael Boylan


This chapter examines the relationship between the values of research and privacy in the context of medical research on patient data. An analytical framework is developed by interpreting the conception of privacy advanced in the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights by reference to the Principle of Generic Consistency, seminally argued to be the supreme principle of morality by Alan Gewirth. This framework is used to uncloak the inequity of positions uncompromisingly prioritising research values over privacy values or vice versa—research worship and consent worship, respectively. We then apply this framework to three hypothetical studies to show how apparent conflicts between research and privacy values can be resolved.


Beyleveld, D., & Pattinson, S. D. (2008). Moral Interests, Privacy and Medical Research. In M. Boylan (Ed.), International public health policy and ethics (45-57). Springer Verlag.

Publication Date Jan 1, 2008
Deposit Date Jan 26, 2012
Publicly Available Date Sep 11, 2012
Publisher Springer Verlag
Pages 45-57
Series Title International library of ethics, law, and the new medicine.
Book Title International public health policy and ethics.
Chapter Number 4
ISBN 9781402086168
Keywords Consent, Interests, Rights, Research, Principle of generic consistency, Privacy.
Additional Information ISSN of series: 1567-8008 (Print)


Accepted Book Chapter (272 Kb)

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