Who should brace for how much research impact

The NHMRC is considering changes to the risk-benefit section of its human research statement. Adrian Barnett (QUT) is alarmed

The National Health and Medical Research Council has a draft out for comment, with responses due August 1.

Complicated stuff for research participants, researchers – and the people who approve projects. As the council puts it, “for ethics review bodies, there can be a profound tension between the obligations to give maximum scope to participants’ freedom to accept risk and to see that research is conducted in a way that is of benefit.”

Good o, except there is a proposed change in the draft, to extend the policy to cover the “impact of research,” which Professor Barnett worries, “is a possibly enormous change to health and medical research, greatly increasing the scope of potential harms that researchers and ethics committees will have to consider.”

He sets out his issues in CMM this morning, HERE.