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Clinical Research Ethics, Competing Interests, Conflicts of Interest, Research Ethics, University–Industry Relations, Narrative Case Study, Medical Research


Clinician researchers have a number of roles, each of which carries specific obligations. There are times when these obligations may be in competition (up to and including conflict) with each other. Using a narrative case study that describes a group of colleagues discussing their clinical department's participation in an industry-sponsored research protocol, we illustrate a number of the obligations faced by clinician researchers, and discuss how competing interests and obligations can lead to ethical problems. The case study is followed by a discussion of the effect of university–industry relations on competing interests and obligations in both clinical research and the role of the university, and a suggested framework that could be used to determine when university involvement in commercial research is ethically acceptable.


Authors' manuscript formally published in Accountability in Research, owned by Taylor and Francis. Access the publication at All rights reserved by Taylor and Francis.