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The National Research Act (Public Law 93348) of 1974 created the National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research, which, among other duties, was charged with the responsibility of identifying, articulating, and fully explaining those basic ethical principles that should underlie the conduct of biomedical and behavioral research involving human subjects throughout the United States. The commission's findings have been detailed in a 1979 document typically referred to as “The Belmont Report” in recognition of the Smithsonian Institute satellite site where it was drafted, the Belmont Conference Center in Elkridge, Maryland. The Belmont Report identified three basic ethical principals for the conduct of research, and one of these is beneficence. (The other identified principles we, justice and respect for ...

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