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Ethical issues in the communication of results.
J Clin Epidemiol 1991 Jan; 44(Suppl 1):57-61
Ethical issues and other problems involved in the reporting of results of epidemiological studies to individual subjects were discussed. Six societal changes relating to the notification of subjects of occupational epidemiological studies were discussed. These included recognition of the right to self determination, public acceptance of the right to informed consent, passage of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and of the Mine Safety and Health Act, passage of the Freedom of Information Act and the Toxic Substances Control Act, passage of the Health Services, Research, Health Statistics and Health Care Technology Act, and the acceptance of many public health principles. Problems involved in obtaining informed consents, communicating uncertain results, and responsibility for medical followups were examined. Discussions were presented on other problems associated with the communication of study results such as the applicability of cohort results to individuals, the creation of high risk groups within society, the cost of locating and notifying subjects, and legal implications associated with real or perceived damages or anxiety.
NIOSH-Author; Epidemiology; Biostatistics; Health-surveys; Industrial-psychology; Sociological-factors; Occupational-health; Author Keywords: Epidemiologic research; Ethics; Notification; Medical tests
Journal of Clinical Epidemiology
Page last reviewed: September 22, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division