Beneficence is a concept in research ethics that states that researchers should have the welfare of the research participant as a goal in any clinical trial or other research study. In public health, beneficence implies acting in the best interest of the population or society as a whole.

Medicines almost always carry risks as well as benefits, so practising beneficence in clinical trials is not straight forward. An analysis of the risks as well as the benefits is required in each case.

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