• Douglas Mackay
2018
The Hastings Center Report 48 (3) : 28-302-4
Full article

In a carefully argued article, Haley K. Sullivan and Benjamin E. Berkman address the important question of whether investigators have a duty to report incidental findings to research participants in low‐resource settings. They suggest that the duty to rescue offers the most plausible justification for the duty to return incidental findings, and they explore the implications of this duty for the context of research in low‐resource settings. While I think they make valuable headway on an important problem, in this commentary, I identify a significant difference between the paradigmatic rescue case and the return of incidental findings in low‐resource settings. This difference, I suggest, implies that their framework may be too narrow in scope. If investigators (and their sponsors) really wish to fulfill their duty to rescue, they must consider factors that are left out of Sullivan and Berkman’s framework.