Researchers question research ethics regulation system


ethics Bioethics kills people.

This, obviously, is not a conventional view of bioethics. It is supposed to protect and save people. However, an article in the Journal of Internal Medicine contends that ethical regulation for medical research “slows, discourages and stops life-saving research,” and that as a result, “lives are lost that would otherwise have been saved.” The researchers, S.N. Whitney and C.E. Schneider, point out that regulation delays clinical trials by interrupting them, and then by delaying start dates and delaying progress. The lack of cost-benefit analyses of regulation is “disturbing, since regulation that does more harm than good is itself unethical.”

Ethics regulation also has other negative effects: it “has sometimes prevented research altogether”, it “can affect the quality of research”, and it “may also have a chilling effect that causes researchers not even to attempt some kinds of research.” S.N. Whitney, of Baylor College of Medicine, in Houston, and C.E. Schneider, of the University of Michigan Law School, also argue that as many researchers are also members of review boards, ”ethics regulation reduces the time they have to do their own research”.

In response, Søren Holm, editor of the Journal of Medical Ethics, acknowledged that all regulation comes with a price tag. However, he writes, “performing... research without consent is not a trivial matter”. Furthermore, patients need protection from well-meaning researchers. “If we have learnt anything from recent studies of the effects of con?ict of interest, it is that even the best educated and most upright researchers are not immune to the pernicious in?uence of such interests.” ~ Journal of Internal Medicine, Vol 269, Issue 4




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