Bioethics Commission Report ‘Must be Assessed,’ Lancet Op-Ed Says
This year may be the "year for the development of ethical guidelines on international collaborative health research," Bebe Loff writes in a Lancet op-ed. U.S. and U.K. agencies are "grappling" with the ethical issue, now that, "for the time being," a resolution of controversial amendments to the Helsinki Declaration has been reached. The U.S. National Bioethics Advisory Commission's report, Ethical and Policy Issues in International Research, which Loff says has "already generated controversy," is "currently out for public comment." Loff cites a Dec. 6 letter addressed to the commission expressing researchers' concerns that the report had been changed. The original draft "required that ethical review of research funded by the U.S. government should take place both within the U.S.A. and the country in which it was proposed that the research take place," while new recommendations said that an "ethical review of such research need not occur in the U.S.A., but as a minimum, in the country in which the research is to take place. Letter authors Peter Lurie, George Annas, Troyen Brennan, Arthur Caplan, Dirceu Greco, Michael Grodin and Sidney Wolfe contend that this revision would constitute "a great departure from current practice," and noted "concerns about the capacity for rigorous ethical review in some couThis is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.