Guidelines for Local Research Ethics Committees
BMJ (British Medical Journal). 1992 May 16; 304(6837): 1293-1295.
In August last year, for only the second time, the Department of Health issued guidelines on local research ethics committees. Initially the department (then the Ministry of Health) only drew hospital authorities' attention to guidelines issued by others concerning research on humans. Not until 1975 did the department make its own statement, and the present document is the definitive version of an earlier draft circular which contained the first departmental words on the subject for 14 years. Has it been worth waiting for? Do the guidelines serve what should be the twin aims of local ethics committees: protecting the public from harm and enhancing the conduct of good scientific research? As lay members of different local ethics committees we are concerned that this document is far from the clear and comprehensive statement that committees had the right to expect.
Compensation; Consent; Epidemiology; Ethics; Ethics Committees; Guidelines; Harm; Health; Human Experimentation; Informed Consent; Injuries; Legal Aspects; Legal Liability; Liability; Minors; Nontherapeutic Research; Public Participation; Research; Research Ethics; Research Ethics Committees; Research Subjects; Risks and Benefits; Selection of Subjects; Standards; Therapeutic Research;