Herbal medicine research and global health

An ethical analysis

Jon C Tilburt, Ted J. Kaptchuk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

99 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Governments, international agencies and corporations are increasingly investing in traditional herbal medicine research. Yet little literature addresses ethical challenges in this research. In this paper, we apply concepts in a comprehensive ethical framework for clinical research to international traditional herbal medicine research. We examine in detail three key, underappreciated dimensions of the ethical framework in which particularly difficult questions arise for international herbal medicine research: social value, scientific validity and favourable risk-benefit ratio. Significant challenges exist in determining shared concepts of social value, scientific validity and favourable risk-benefit ratio across international research collaborations. However, we argue that collaborative partnership, including democratic deliberation, offers the context and process by which many of the ethical challenges in international herbal medicine research can, and should be, resolved. By "cross-training" investigators, and investing in safety-monitoring infrastructure, the issues identified by this comprehensive framework can promote ethically sound international herbal medicine research that contributes to global health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)594-599
Number of pages6
JournalBulletin of the World Health Organization
Volume86
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2008
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Ethical Analysis
Herbal Medicine
Research
Social Values
Traditional Medicine
Odds Ratio
International Agencies
Government Agencies
Global Health
Research Personnel
Safety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Herbal medicine research and global health : An ethical analysis. / Tilburt, Jon C; Kaptchuk, Ted J.

In: Bulletin of the World Health Organization, Vol. 86, No. 8, 08.2008, p. 594-599.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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