[t]he great problem for medical research … is the chasm between the society's general interest in medical progress and the individual interest of the patient involved. Resolving these two conflicting interests is the task of the law.1

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Research involving humans raises many ethical and legal issues, and its regulation essentially involves balancing the interests of the health professional/researcher conducting the trial, with those of medical science and progress generally, and the welfare of the humans who participate in it. While much has been written about the regulation of research, in this article I explore an under-considered aspect of the area—the selection of participants. The importance of clinical trials, participant selection and ‘informed consent’ was dramatically highlighted by the Phase 1 clinical trials of TGN1412, held in London in March 2006.2 TGN1412...

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