The scope and activities that constitute healthcare research are broad and everchanging given new research questions and methodologies. There is also an increasing range of international health research activities. Many of these activities raise significant ethical issues. In this article, healthcare researchers from the UK and Brazil examine some of the challenges that may arise in cross-cultural research and consider the most appropriate ethical frameworks that may be applied. It is concluded that an amalgam of key features of human rights discourse and virtue ethics, in a context of cultural safety, provide the most robust framework for research ethics in a global context. Indeed, this is also the best candidate for a transcultural research ethics.
Keywords: Research ethics, healthcare; cultural safety; universalism; human rights; virtue ethics