Ethical Issues in Research With Hispanic Drug Users: Participant Perspectives on Risks and Benefits

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Review Article

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There has been considerable discussion in the research ethics literature concerning special researcher responsibilities in studying vulnerable populations, including whether or not drug addicts, as a result of their health condition and craving for drugs, constitute a vulnerable group from a human subject perspective. In the assessment of ethical issues, researchers in recent years have begun to recognize the critical importance of hearing the subject's voice and learning the concerns and attitudes of those who participate in research. To date, however, despite a significant increase in studies of not-in-treatment drug users, little attempt has been made to determine the perspectives of drug users about participation in research, especially ethnic minority drug users, and in particular, Hispanic drug users. Based on recent findings of a study of drug user attitudes and perspectives on research, this paper reports on the perceived risks and benefits of participation in research of a subsample of Hispanic street drug users from Hartford, Connecticut.



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