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October 2021

Research ethics committees: A regional approach

Journal/Book: Theor Med Bioeth. 1999; 20: Spuiboulevard 50, PO Box 17, 3300 AA Dordrecht, Netherlands. Kluwer Academic Publ. 161-179.

Abstract: Guidelines for Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) or research ethics committees exist at national and international levels. These guidelines are based on ethical principles and establish an internationally acceptable standard for the review and conduct of medical research. Having attained a multinational consensus about what these fundamental guidelines should be, IRBs are left to interpret the guidelines and devise their own means of implementing them. Individual and community values bear on the interpretation of the guidelines so different IRBs attain different levels of effectiveness. In the Caribbean and Pan American regions there are few IRBs. Obstacles to the establishment and function of IRBs are exacerbated in developing regions like these by differences in language, literacy, and local value systems; education, administrative expertise, facilities, and access to information are also limited. A regional IRB network might facilitate more uniform ethical review in developing countries, and simplify IRB procedures.

Note: Article Macpherson CC, St Georges Univ, Sch Med, POB 7, St Georges, GRENADA

Keyword(s): ethical guidelines; institutional review boards; developing countries; Caribbean; Pan American; international; research ethics; human experimentation; INFORMED CONSENT; MEDICAL-RESEARCH; EXPERIENCE; BIOETHICS; STANDARDS; APPROVAL; TRIALS

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