The Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues issued its report concerning federally-sponsored research involving human volunteers, concluding that current rules and regulations provide adequate safeguards to mitigate risk. In its report, Moral Science: Protecting Participants in Human Subjects Research, the Commission also recommended 14 changes to current practices to better protect research subjects, and called on the federal government to improve its tracking of research programs supported with taxpayer dollars.
President Obama requested that the Commission undertake an assessment of research standards following the October 2010 revelation that the U.S. Public Health Service supported unethical research in Guatemala from 1946 to 1948 that involved intentionally exposing thousands of Guatemalans to sexually transmitted diseases without their consent. The President gave the Bioethics Commission two assignments: to oversee a thorough fact-finding investigation into the specifics of the studies (released September 13, 2011); and to assure that current rules for research participants protect people from harm or unethical treatment, domestically as well as internationally.
- Read Moral Science: Protecting Participants in Human Subjects Research
- Download the Human Subjects Research Landscape Project – Analysis Dataset (data collection of federally supported human subjects research, 2006-2010)
- Read the International Research Panel subcommittee report
- International Research Panel
- Read the Human Subjects Protection Bibliography
- Read media coverage on the issue
- Read the press release
- Read the charge from President Obama
- Relevant public meetings
- Blog coverage
- Related education materials