Vulnerable Subjects

Clinical Individuals whose willingness to volunteer in a clinical trial may be unduly influenced by the expectation, whether justified or not, of benefits associated with participation, or of a retaliatory response from senior members of a hierarchy in case of refusal to participate. Examples are members of a group with a hierarchical structure, such as medical, pharmacy, dental and nursing students, subordinate hospital and laboratory personnel, employees of the pharmaceutical industry, members of the armed forces, and persons kept in detention. Other vulnerable subjects include patients with incurable diseases, persons in nursing homes, unemployed or impoverished persons, patients in emergency situations, ethnic minority groups, homeless persons, nomads, refugees, minors, and those incapable of giving consent.
Segen's Medical Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Nevertheless, as I argued in Vulnerable Subjects: Ethics and Life Writing, the representation of illness and disability in memoir and autobiography is not without dangers.
Chauca offer a brilliant analysis of Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's Mexican-Spanish film, Biutiful, pointing out that in the film global capitalism acts as a haunting force that instills consumerist fantasies and desires on vulnerable subjects.
Therefore, the main threat is posed to most vulnerable subjects such as hospitalized patients, particularly those in intensive care units, and cancer patients, people with severe burns, and babies in the neonatal units.
In the climate context, where states are the vulnerable subjects, promotion of global equality and resilience can be achieved through international agreements and institutional arrangements designed to mitigate vulnerability.
[5] Therefore, the GMMP could be perceived as one massive experiment that included highly vulnerable subjects who, because of this vulnerability being exploited, suffered serious harms and wrongs.
Thomas Couser, Vulnerable Subjects: Ethics and Life
From an ethical standpoint, less vulnerable subjects, if feasible, are generally preferred.
It's also that researchers themselves are often given powerful financial incentives to do unethical things: pressure vulnerable subjects to enroll in studies, fudge diagnoses to recruit otherwise ineligible subjects and keep subjects in studies even when they are doing poorly.