This paper attempts to analyze the way in which the issue of ethics in social research is dealt by institutional commissions based in biomedicine criteria. This discussion is particularly important for Social Sciences in Health, as our projects must necessarily be presented to Committees for assessment. In actual fact, Resolution No 196/1996 issued by the National Health Council establishes this mandatory requirement for all social areas. However, there is a question among researchers working with social issues, arguing that the health sector is moving outside its field when attempting to regulate actions in other fields of investigation. Grounded on philosophical anthropology, this paper is divided into three parts: (1) elements of anthropological foundations of ethics; (2) contributions of Anthropology to thinking about ethics and human rights in health; (3) internal and external questioning about anthropological practice. I conclude that if the ethical issue that involves human beings cannot be reduced to the procedures established by Ethics Committees, discussions in greater depth are required among social scientists on the construction of a practice based on and guided by respect for the intersubjectivity of all the players engaged in a research project.