Balanced Ethics Review: A Guide for Institutional Review by Simon N. Whitney

By Simon N. Whitney

This guide can help Institutional assessment forums (IRBs) behavior ethics assessment that balances the most important ethical concerns in study with human topics. present demanding situations within the IRB surroundings are addressed with arguments and insights from dozens of students. necessary to the IRB member at any point of expertise, Balanced Ethics Review offers the required instruments had to create a systemic blueprint for selling the learn and dissemination of scientists and students in the ordinary norms of regulation.

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These obligations, which bind individuals and groups alike, are part of our social covenant. Your responsibility as a member of the IRB is shared by the other members, and your committee as a whole should act ethically. Similarly, your moral obligations extend to both individuals and groups. 2 Ethics and the IRB Two Ethical Goals The two principles translate directly into your IRB’s two ethical goals: to protect subjects and to enable research that will benefit society. Research ethics has traditionally focused on protecting human subjects from injury (“do no harm”), but that is only one piece of the picture.

NIH bioethicists 4 38 Evaluating Biomedical Research Ezekiel Emanuel, David Wendler, and Christine Grady encourage you to use this power, on the grounds that subjects should never be exposed to risk for research that is not “socially or scientifically” valuable. This would include “clinical research with nongeneralizable results, a trifling hypothesis, or substantial or total overlap with proven results. In addition, research with results unlikely to be disseminated or in which the intervention could never be practically implemented even if effective is not valuable” (Emanuel et al.

The word “society” is itself a contraction. Your IRB’s duty is to the individuals who form society—to all of us as we struggle with illness, care for others, and confront injustice. Political philosopher Alan Wertheimer astutely observes, “It is often said that medical research exhibits a tension between science or progress or a ‘greater social good’ and the interests or rights of the individual. Although that way of putting things is not wrong, it is also misleading. After all, ‘society,’ and ‘science,’ and ‘progress’ do not describe metaphysical entities that are not reducible to the interests of individuals.

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