The Clinical Trials Research Group (CTRG) of the Biomedical Ethics Unit at McGill University is a research team dedicated to investigating ethical and legal questions in human research. Founded in 1990, the group has recieved funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Genome Quebec and the National Centres of Excellence Network for stem cell genomics and therapeutics. The CRTG has studied a wide range of issues dealing with clinical trials including: the ethical analysis of risk, the concept of 'minimal risk', children in medical research, eligibility for clinical trial participation, genetic research, community involvement in research design and conduct of trials, the inclusion of women and the elderly in clinical trials, the obligation of Research Ethics Boards (Institutional Review Boards in the U.S.) to monitor ongoing research, the necessity for blinding in randomized controlled trials, conflict of interest in research, scientific method, and the ethics of placebo use.
The Clinical Trials Research Group was founded by McGill philosopher Benjamin Freedman (who passed away on March 20, 1997), physician and researcher Abraham Fuks (currently Dean of Medicine at McGill) and biostatistician-epidemiologist Stanley Shapiro. Other members and associates currently include Kathleen Cranley Glass, Dean Fergusson, Neil MacDonald, Leigh Turner, Trudo Lemmens, Jonathan Kimmelman and graduate students Nicole Palmour, Louise Bernier, Leo Paquin and Ariella Binik. Others who have been associated with the group are sociologist James Robbins (1990 to 1992), physiotherapy student Amina Riaz (1991 to 1992), nurse/clinician Myriam Skrutkowska (1991 to 2000), physician Maria Sigurjonsdottir (1992 to 1993), theologian Karen Lebacqz (1994 to 1996), law professor Dominique Sprumont (1996 to 1997) philosopher Louis Charland (1996 to 1998), law students Angela Campbell (1996 to 2000) and Damian König (1998 to 1999), philosopher Chris Herrera (1998 to 1999), physician/ philosopher Charles Weijer (1990 to 2000), physician Imre Szebik (1997 to 1998 & 1999 to 2000), Rebecca Tittler (1999 to 2000), Duff Waring (2001 to 2002) and Terri Peterson (2001 to 2003).