A review of ethics in psychiatric research

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Purpose of review

To summarize important recent contributions to the literature on the subject of ethics in psychiatric research.

Recent findings

Current literature reflects an expansion in the range of psychiatric research on ethics topics. Articles continue to appear on core ethics subjects such as informed consent, but many recent contributions focus on diverse issues such as third-party privacy, the ethics of Internet-based research, revisiting the wisdom of imposing medical ethics requirements on observational research, and psychiatric research ethics as applied to special populations such as children or older persons.


Psychiatric research is critical for the elucidation, prevention, and treatment of mental diseases. Increased attention and novel approaches taken to obtain informed consent, correcting therapeutic misconception, and guarding privacy will advance the research enterprise and continue to ensure that the subjective experiences of participants in psychiatric research remain positive.

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