Korean J Hosp Palliat Care.  2019 Jun;22(2):49-66. 10.14475/kjhpc.2019.22.2..

Ethical Considerations in Hospice and Palliative Care Research

  • 1Department of Psychology, Chonnam National University, Gwangju, Korea. ghyoun@chonnam.ac.kr


Along with the advances in medical technology and the economic development, more terminally ill patients are receiving hospice and palliative care services. Moreover, hospice and palliative care clinicians have been showing considerable interest in studies that aim to improve the quality of said care for patients and their families. Meanwhile, after the government has strengthened its policy to protect research participants, the institutional review boards (IRBs) are more closely examining various ethical issues related to patients' vulnerability when reviewing protocols for hospice and palliative care research. However, terminally ill patients should be provided with guaranteed qualities of hospice and palliative care to improve and maintain their quality of life. To that end, support should be provided for efforts to conduct ethical and safe studies with hospice and palliative care patients. Thus, this review paper proposes ethical guidelines for hospice and palliative care research. The guidelines could be appropriately used as a reference for researchers who should prepare for ethically safe and scientifically valued research protocols and the IRBs that will review the protocols.


Hospice care; Palliative care; Terminally ill; Research ethics committees; Human experimentation; Patient rights

MeSH Terms

Economic Development
Ethics Committees, Research
Hospice Care
Human Experimentation
Palliative Care*
Patient Rights
Quality of Life
Terminally Ill
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