Ethical principles in the conduct of menopause research

Ruth Macklin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The same ethical principles that apply to biomedical research in general also govern research on menopause. The principles of respect for persons, beneficence, and justice embody ethical concerns in the selection and recruitment of subjects, the process of obtaining informed consent from potential subjects, the assessment of risk and benefits, and the conduct of the research itself. An argument might be made that to conduct research on menopause in which some subjects fail to receive hormone replacement therapy would be unethical. This argument contains a number of fallacies. The assumption that women are incapable of weighing the risks and benefits and deciding whether to participate in the research betrays a lack of respect for women's capacity for critical evaluation. The principle of beneficence supports carrying out research to enhance the scientific knowledge on which to base treatment recommendations. The principle of justice requires that long-overdue research be conducted on aspects of the aging process affecting more than 50% of the population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)519-524
Number of pages6
JournalExperimental Gerontology
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1994


  • beneficence
  • ethical principles
  • justice
  • menopause
  • respect for persons
  • risk-benefit assessment
  • women's health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Aging
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Endocrinology
  • Cell Biology


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