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This policy document is part of a response submitted by the Progress Educational Trust (PET) to the Nuffield Council on Bioethics' Consultation on Human Bodies in Medicine and Research.

Can there be a moral duty to participate in first-in-human trials? If so, could you give examples of when such a duty might arise?

Participation in first-in-human trials should be regarded as admirable, but not compulsory. The imposition of a duty to participate in first-in-human trials would be onerous.

There is a duty involved in participation in first-in-human trials, but it is not the duty to participate. Rather, it is the duty of all of us who believe participation to be desirable (especially those of us who work in science and medicine) to persuade the public of the merits of participating. In other words, society should encourage, but not compel, its citizens to participate in first-in-human trials.