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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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Clinical Ethics Office Bumped Upstairs
8 July 1999 7:00 pm
A federal agency that watches out for the welfare of patients who volunteer as research subjects is getting a promotion. The Office for Protection from Research Risks (OPRR), now located in the National Institutes of Health (NIH), will move up the bureaucratic ladder a lofty rung to just beneath the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, according to an HHS spokesperson. The move was prompted in part by a congressional inquiry into the ethics of recruiting children into psychiatric research projects (Science, 19 June 1998, p. 1830).
HHS Secretary Donna Shalala has accepted the recommendations of an independent review panel that looked into this issue and filed a report in June. The panel--co-chaired by bioethicist Nancy Neveloff Dubler of the Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, New York, and attorney Renee Landers of Ropes & Gray in Boston--found an inherent conflict in the present system. They noted that OPRR both monitors research at NIH and reports to NIH for supervision. Dubler and Landers wrote that this creates a "perception that OPRR's actions will be biased in favor of research interests and will provide insufficient protection to research subjects." To avoid this perception, they said in their report, OPRR should be moved out of NIH and given a more independent role.
Shalala agrees, according to HHS spokesperson Campbell Gardett, and gave orders today to move the office. The transfer should be completed by next spring.