Inducement in research and lotteries – can a chance really be compensation?

A/Prof. David Hunter1

1Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia

The National Statement forbids the use of inducements to recruit research participants, but allows the appropriate compensation of participants for the time, inconvenience and out of pocket expenses involved in participating. One form of compensation that is commonly offered is a chance to win something. In this paper I will argue that this practice is more likely to function as an inducement than compensation and is unlikely to compensate participants for their involvement in research appropriately. Finally I will discuss whether the absolute prohibition of inducement in the National Statement is defensible.


David teaches medical ethics at Flinders University Medical School and chairs their social and behavioral ethics committee. His background is in philosophy and his research interests include political philosophy, medical ethics and research ethics.

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