A Non-Paternalistic Model of Research Ethics and Oversight: Assessing the Benefits of Prospective Review

Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 40 (4):930-944 (2012)
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To judge from the rash of recent law review articles, it is a miracle that research with human subjects in the U.S. continues to draw breath under the asphyxiating heel of the rent-seeking, creativity-stifling, jack-booted bureaucrethics that is the current system of research ethics oversight and review. Institutional Review Boards, sometimes called Research Ethics Committees, have been accused of perpetrating “probably the most widespread violation of the First Amendment in our nation's history,” resulting in a “disaster, not only for academics, but for the whole nation.” One member of the President's Council on Bioethics went so far as to assert, “There has been no greater damage to academic freedom in the United States in my lifetime. And my lifetime encompasses McCarthy and it encompasses political correctness, both.” Locked in the bureaucratic “iron cage” of IRB oversight, critics charge that researchers have been transformed into a vulnerable, exposed population, subject to domination, that has been likened in one case to a kind of “Tuskegee in reverse.”



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Alex John London
Carnegie Mellon University

References found in this work

The Tragedy of the Commons.Garrett Hardin - 1968 - Science 162 (3859):1243-1248.
Wanted.Rebecca Dresser - 1992 - Hastings Center Report 22 (1):24-29.
Wanted Single, White Male for Medical Research.Rebecca Dresser - 1992 - Hastings Center Report 22 (1):24.

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