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We examine current applications of the moral duty to rescue to justify clinical investigators’ duties of ancillary care and standard of care to subjects in resource-poor settings. These applications fail to explain why investigators possess obligations to research participants, in particular, and not to people in need, in general. Further, these applications fail to recognize the normative significance of the institutional role of the investigators. We offer a positive account of the duty to rescue for investigators as institutional agents, with duties to populations rather than merely individuals.