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The untidy margins of ethical approval
  1. Jackie A Cassell
  1. Correspondence to Professor Jackie A Cassell, Department of Primary Care Epidemiology, Brighton and Sussex Medical School, Lewes, East Sussex BN1 9PH, UK; jackiecassell{at}googlemail.com

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Cecil the lion was protected by Zimbabwean law, and tracked by wildlife researchers committed to the preservation of lions in the wild.1 Shot by an American dentist, his untimely death was mourned around the world on social media and is currently the subject of lawsuits against the hunting company which arranged the expedition. There may be extradition proceedings against the man who pulled the trigger yet claims he did not know it was illegal. But not everyone agrees that trophy hunting should always be outlawed, and the gap between regulation and ethics can be a treacherous place. Knowing what rules to follow may not be straightforward. And is following the rules enough?

As an international clinical journal, we publish a wide range of research ranging from laboratory science, from sensitive behavioural surveys and qualitative research, through to large scale analyses of health care systems. Most of the …

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