China’s weakness in ethics and humanitarian principles has been a continuous concern to bioethicists and defenders of human rights (read HERE and HERE). Now, an article published in the journal Nursing Ethics, entitled Development proposals of Human Research Protection Program,  shows that China’s proposal to protect human rights in biomedical research has been ineffective.

China’s ethical weakness in one more topic

The authors based their study on Chinese laws, guidelines, and regulations. The aim of the study was “to summarize the status and problems of human research protection program in China and to explore its establishment proposals at national and hospital levels.”

The article says that China’s Human Research Protection Program (announced in 2016) has failed to achieve effective protection of human rights and welfare in biomedical research.

The authors found that, “[t]here are problems for China’s Human Research Protection Program, such as weak relevant legal systems, insufficient administrative supervision, and incompetent ethics committee capacities.”

Could China’s ethics weakness be resolved?

They concluded that China should promote the real development of the Human Research Protection Program announced by authorities, which can “[…] formulate ethics-related laws [and] improve regulations for the protection of the safety and rights of human participants […]“ in biomedical research.

We believe that this study helps to understand the current status of human rights and welfare in this area of medical research with human subjects in China.