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date: 15 April 2021

Abstract and Keywords

The problem of incidental findings in human subjects research—findings of potential health importance to the research participant that the researcher stumbles upon while pursuing the aims of the research—may at first seem of minor significance. The number and potential gravity of incidental findings force researchers to face difficult questions. The most fundamental of these is whether researchers have any duty to identify, evaluate, and disclose these findings to the research participant. This is a profound challenge to the structure of bioethics and health law. Both fields approach the world of research and the world of medical care very differently. Neuroimaging research can yield a high number of incidental findings. Bioethics and health law must now reconstitute the traditional vision of researcher duties to bring the researcher back into a relationship with the research participant.

Keywords: incidental findings, potential health, bioethics, health law, neuroimaging research

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