March 5, 2024

Bioethics panel told no guarantee against unethical research

Rules have not changed behaviour, experts say

The bioethical abuses of 1940 to 1970 could happen again despite over 1,000 rules and regulations designed to end them forever, say experts. Bioethicists and researchers addressing President Obama’s Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues said that as many as 1,000 rules, guidelines and regulations have been put in place worldwide to ensure ethical conduct in medical research. The US has rules to protect people in all studies done by federal scientists, funded by federal agencies or requiring federal approval to be sold. However, some say the oversight is inconsistent – that ethical rules can vary among federal agencies. If federal funding or review is not involved, an unethical study could be conducted and go unnoticed.

“We have a leaky system,” said Eric Meslin, director of the Indiana University Center for Bioethics. Dr. Robert Califf, vice chancellor for clinical research at Duke University, agreed there are weaknesses. “It’s night and day and what you could do in the ‘good old days’ with no one knowing about it. But there’s no 100 percent guarantee. There still will be bad things that will happen,” he said. ~ Huffington Post, Jan 3

Bioethics panel told no guarantee against unethical research
Jared Yee