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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Who polices the 'Ethics Police'?

By Robert Klitzman
Originally posted May 26, 2015

Here is an excerpt:

Most people take for granted is that some protective mechanism -- laws or watchdogs -- ensures that experiments are ethical. Indeed, research ethics committees or institutional review boards (IRBs) do review all human experiments. But they have become increasingly controversial.

Why? In part because they operate behind closed doors and, scientists now argue, often stymy, rather than support key studies.

Investigators commonly call IRBs "the Ethics Police" and complain that these boards unnecessarily block or delay studies. As a researcher, I, too, have sometimes been frustrated by them.

Yet despite the controversy in the field, the public knows little about them, despite how they affect all our lives.

The entire article is here.