Published on October 2, 2007
Ethical Issues for Human Subjects Research: Ethical Issues for Human Subjects Research Role of IRBs I. Purpose of Human Subjects Research: I. Purpose of Human Subjects Research Understand Disease Validate New Therapies Understand Physiological Processes Study Human Behavior Evaluate Curricular Changes Evaluate New Teaching Methods Ethical Issues in Research: Ethical Issues in Research When using humans or animals for research, important ethical issues must be addressed Historically, these issues were addressed by the professional code of ethics Codes of conduct have evolved and now have been codified into law. Ethical Issues in Research: Ethical Issues in Research World War II—The Nuremburg Trial Joseph Mengele and unethical experiments performed by Nazi doctors Ethical Issues in Research: Ethical Issues in Research World War II-The Nuremburg Trial 20 doctors were charged with War Crimes and Crimes against humanity Joseph Mengele fled and was not tried Lead to Nuremburg Code of 10 Principles Nuremburg Code: Nuremburg Code Requires voluntary consent Experiments must be rational Experiments must be based on animal studies and knowledge of the disease Experiments should avoid suffering No experiment should involve excessive risks, except in those studies where physical experimental physicians also serve as subjects Nuremburg Code: Nuremburg Code Degree of risks should be determined by importance of the problem Precautions should be taken to avoid against even remote possibilities of injury, disability, or death Experiment should be conducted only by scientifically qualified persons Subjects should be able to end experiment at any time The scientist in charge must be prepared to terminate the experiment at any stage, if they believe the experiment is likely to result in injury, disability, or death to the subject Ethical Issues in Research: Ethical Issues in Research Unfortunately, codes were not always followed: Tuskegee Syphilis Study-USPHS-1930’s Not treated even after penicillin discovered Jewish Chronic Disease Hospital Patients injected with cancer cells Midgeville State Hospital Investigational drugs used without consent Ethical Issues in Research: Ethical Issues in Research Willowbrook State Hospital-1970 Retarded injected with viral hepatitis US Department of Energy-1950s-60s Studies on radioactive fallout University of Iowa-1940s Research on stuttering in orphans home Johns Hopkins-2001 Asthma study with hexamethonium National Research Act: National Research Act Increased Public concern led to congressional action and National Research Act of 1974 President Nixon then established National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral research Commission charged to consider: Boundaries between practice and research Assessment of role of risk vs. benefit in research Guidelines for selection of subjects Informed Consent Belmont Report: Belmont Report National Commission submitted the Belmont Report to President in 1979 Led to 1981 revision of 1974 guidance (45 CFR 46) for human research committees 45 CFR 46-has become the bible for reviewing research funded by DHHS Required appointment of Institutional Review Boards or IRB’s to review human subject studies Provided standards for appointment of IRBs, record-keeping and oversight in research 45 CFR 46: 45 CFR 46 Revised in 1983 and 1991 In 1991 revisions referred to as Common Rule Adopted by 15 federal agencies, not just DHHS Institutions with NIH funding must submit assurance of compliance to OHRP, DHHS After February 28, 2001-assurances must cover all research at institution, not just NIH II. Institutional Review Boards: II. Institutional Review Boards Makeup of IRB At least 5 members Male/Female Professionals/laypersons External “non-affiliated” member Must represent community Lay person must be at meeting for reviews II. Institutional Review Boards: II. Institutional Review Boards IRB’S must be guided by principles outlined in Belmont Report: Respect for persons: respect for patient autonomy Beneficence: maximize benefits and minimize harm Justice: Equitable distribution of research burdens and benefits III. IRB Review of Research: III. IRB Review of Research Three categories of Review: Exempt Expedited Full Review IRB Review of Research: IRB Review of Research Exempt-by Chair or Administrator Research in educational settings involving normal educational practices Instructional strategies Effectiveness of instructional techniques Comparison of techniques or curricula, etc. IRB Review of Research: IRB Review of Research Exempt-by Chair or Administrator Research involving educational tests (cognitive, diagnostic, aptitude) Unless Names or identifiers are recorded and Disclosure could put subject at risk of criminal liability or affect employability IRB Review of Research: IRB Review of Research Exempt-by Chair or Administrator Survey research without identifiers; interviews, observation of public behavior Unless Names or identifiers are recorded and Disclosure could put subject at risk of criminal liability or affect employability IRB Review of Research: IRB Review of Research Exempt-by Chair or Administrator Collection or study of existing data, documents, records, pathological or diagnostic specimens If the sources are publicly available, or If information is recorded so that the subject cannot be identified, directly or indirectly IRB Review of Research: IRB Review of Research Exempt-by Chair or Administrator Research and demonstration projects conducted by or subject to approval by DHHS to study, evaluate or examine: Public benefit or service programs Procedures for obtaining benefits or services from these programs Other changes in these programs Taste and food quality evaluation and consumer acceptance studies IRB Review of Research: IRB Review of Research Expedited Review Research activities reviewed by Chair or designee Two cautions however: Only for activities involving minimal risk-i.e., no more risks than those in everyday life Cannot be used if subject responses might pose civil or criminal risk to subject, unless Reasonable protections can be implemented so that risks related to invasion of privacy and breach of confidentiality are minimal IRB Review of Research: IRB Review of Research Expedited Review-Categories eligible Some studies of approved drugs or devices Collection of blood from adults Not to exceed 550mL in 8 weeks Not more often than 2 times per week Collection of specimens by non-invasive means: sweat, excreta, amniotic fluid, hair, teeth, plaque IRB Review of Research: IRB Review of Research Expedited Review-Categories eligible Collection of data through non-invasive means, excluding X-ray and microwave EKG, ECG, MRI, weighing, thermography, ultrasound, doppler blood flow, exercise, flexibility testing, etc. Research involving data, records, specimens collected, or that will be collected solely for non-research purposes Collection of voice, video, digital, or images made for research purposes IRB Review of Research: IRB Review of Research Expedited Review-Categories eligible Research on individual or group characteristics or behavior including: Perception, cognition, motivation, identity, language, communication, beliefs or practices, etc. Research involving surveys, interview focus groups, program evaluations, or quality assurance methods Continuing reviews for previously approved projects Minor changes in previously approved research IRB Review of Research: IRB Review of Research Full Review-Full Committee Investigational drugs, devices, invasive techniques (PET scan), implants, etc. Higher risk research NOTE-research not approved by IRB cannot be approved by higher authorities, however approved research may be disapproved by higher authorities IV. IRB Approval: IV. IRB Approval To be approved: Risks must be minimized by sound research design Risks must be reasonable in relation to benefits Selection of subjects must be equitable Informed consent will be sought from each subject IRB Approval: IRB Approval To be approved-continued: Informed consent will be appropriately documented When appropriate, research plan must ensure continued safety of subjects Where appropriate, provisions made to protect privacy of subjects and data When working with subjects vulnerable to coercion, must consider added safeguards Continuing Review: Continuing Review For research continuing more than one year, an annual review is required New standards under review: Will probably require IRB monitoring of some clinical trials Constant assessment of conflict of interest of the investigators Informed Consent: Informed Consent Not needed for exempt studies Required for Expedited Review-but may be simplified for low risk studies Rigorous consent for Full Review projects May be waived by IRB for emergency Medicine research-controversial issue Informed Consent: Informed Consent Consent must address critical elements or points outlined by Federal Law Consent signed by subject or legal representative and investigator Subject must be given copy of consent No exculpatory language may be used in the written consent Basic Elements of Consent: Basic Elements of Consent Explanation of purpose and duration Description of risks Description of benefits Disclosure of alternatives to participation Basic Elements of Consent: Basic Elements of Consent Explanation of Confidentiality of Records Who to contact regarding patient rights For research with more than minimal risks, comment on compensation and care for injury Right to withdraw without prejudice Statement regarding unforeseen risks, especially to unborn child Additional Elements for Consent: Additional Elements for Consent Statement that investigator may terminate patient participation Information regarding any costs Statement regarding consequences of withdrawing-especially for drug studies Number of subjects in study Special Populations-Children: Special Populations-Children Special Considerations Children are persons who have not attained the legal age for consent to treatments or procedures involved in research Research not involving greater than minimal risk may be approved: With assent of the child and permission of parents Special Populations-Children: Special Populations-Children Special Considerations Research involving greater than minimal risk and the prospect of direct benefit to the child may be approved: If the risk is justified by the anticipated benefit The relation of the benefit to risk is at least as favorable to subjects as the alternative approaches With assent of the child and permission of parents Special Populations-Children: Special Populations-Children Special Considerations Research involving greater than minimal risk and no prospect of direct benefit to the child may be approved: If the risk represents a minor risk over minimal risk If the intervention presents experiences that are reasonably similar to those in actual medical, dental, social, psychological, or educational situations If the intervention is likely to yield generalizeable knowledge about the disorder or condition With assent of the child and permission of parents Special Populations-Children: Special Populations-Children Special Considerations Assent of the child Usually verbal-confirmed by parents “Assent” cam usually be provided by children over six years of age-but varies based on maturity and psychological state Failure to object should not, absent affirmative agreement, be construed as assent Special Populations-Prisoners: Special Populations-Prisoners Special Considerations IRB membership Majority of members must have no association with the prison Must include a prisoner, or prisoner representative with experience to serve in this capacity Special Populations-Prisoners: Special Populations-Prisoners Special Considerations The research may be approved if: The advantages of participation are not “enticing” or prohibit good judgment Risks are similar to those for non-prisoner research Consent is understandable to prison population Decision to participate will not affect parole Special Populations-Prisoners: Special Populations-Prisoners Special Considerations Permitted Research: Study of causes, effects, or processes involving incarceration Study of prisons as institutional structures or of prisoners as incarcerated persons Study of conditions affecting prisoners as a class Vaccine trials for diseases prevalent in prisons Study of social behavior of prison population VI. Federal Oversight: VI. Federal Oversight FDA spot checks IRBs to monitor compliance with drug and device studies Recent problems at Rush, Duke, UIC, U of Colorado, U of Oklahoma, and Hopkins have prompted calls for greater scrutiny of IRBs VI. Federal Oversight: VI. Federal Oversight New 2000/2001 DHHS guidelines require: Training of investigators and “key” personnel in human research protection Certification by investigators that they have received training (NIH offers on web) Certification that investigator has no conflict of interest Monitoring of clinical trials by IRB VI. Federal Oversight: VI. Federal Oversight Education on “Responsible Conduct of Research” Nine Areas: Data acquisition, management, sharing, ownership Mentor, trainee practices and responsibilities Publication practices and responsible ownership Peer review VI. Federal Oversight: VI. Federal Oversight Education on “Responsible Conduct of Research” Nine Areas: Collaborative science Human subjects Research involving animals Research misconduct Conflict of interest and commitment VII. New HIPAA regulations: VII. New HIPAA regulations Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 Privacy Rules effective April 14th, 2001 Health insurers must safeguard personal health information May not disclose to employers for employment-related decisions However, information can be used for research approved by a properly convened IRB http://www.hipadvisory.com/regs/finaladvisory/gresearch.htm HIPAA allows research with conditions: HIPAA allows research with conditions If material has been or can be de-identified, no conflict with HIPAA regulations Appropriate if records custodian uses data Often not practical to disclose since records custodian may simply state this is too difficult HIPAA allows research with conditions: HIPAA allows research with conditions To use or disclose data without patient authorization: Discloser (records custodian) must document that waiver (of consent) has been obtained from an IRB or Researcher must represent in writing or orally, that disclosure is preparatory to research, and no records will be removed or Researcher must represent in writing or orally that the disclosure is for research on decedents Document of death may be required by disclosure Laboratory Research Animals: Laboratory Research Animals Laboratory Research Animals: Laboratory Research Animals All NIH funded research with animals requires IACUC approval IACUC or Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee must meet NIH standards Scientist Non-scientist Non-affiliated member Veterinarian Laboratory Research Animals: Laboratory Research Animals Functions of the IACUC Review animal care and use program every six months Inspect facilities for housing animals every six months Prepare reports o reviews for Institutional Official Review concerns involving animals at institution Make recommendations regarding program to Official Laboratory Research Animals: Laboratory Research Animals Functions of the IACUC Review, approve, require modifications in applications for animal use Review, approve, require modifications of proposed changes in approved animal projects Suspend activities not adhering to approved uses Laboratory Research Animals: Laboratory Research Animals To approve animal use: Procedures must avoid pain or discomfort and have sound research design Procedures involving minor discomfort or pain must include sedation, analgesia, or anesthesia Animals that would experience chronic pain must be euthanized at the end of the procedure Laboratory Research Animals: Laboratory Research Animals To approve animal use: Living conditions must be appropriate for species Medical care must be available from veterinarian Personnel conducting procedures must be qualified Methods of euthanasia must abide by AVMA rules Studies approved by IACUC may be disapproved by Institutional offices, however, unapproved studies may not be approved by higher officials Laboratory Research Animals: Laboratory Research Animals USDA and NIH have oversight NIH does not have inspection arm USDA makes periodic, unannounced visits to assess compliance for “covered” species Case Number 1: Case Number 1 Social scientist Observing 1st grade play activities What level of review? Exempt Expedited Full Review Case Number 2: Case Number 2 Psychologist Interviewing 1st graders Benign questions: no names or identifiers What level of review Exempt Expedited Full Review Case Number 3: Case Number 3 Behavioral Scientist Interviewing 3rd graders Questions regarding sexual behavior, parental handling of bad behavior, etc. What level of review? Exempt Expedited Full Review Nuremburg Code: Nuremburg Code The voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential The experiment should be such as to yield fruitful results for the good of society, unprocurable by other methods or means of study, and not random and unnecessary in nature. The experiment should be so designed and based on the results of animal experimentation and a knowledge of the natural history of the disease or other problem under study, that the anticipated results will justify the performance of the experiment. The experiment should be so conducted as to avoid all unnecessary physical and mental suffering and injury. Nuremburg Code: Nuremburg Code No experiment should be conducted, where there is an a priori reason to believe that death or disabling injury will occur; except, perhaps, in those experiments where the experimental physicians also serve as subjects. The degree of risk to be taken should never exceed that determined by the humanitarian importance of the problem to be solved by the experiment. Proper preparations should be made and adequate facilities provided to protect the experimental subject against even remote possibilities of injury, disability, or death. Nuremburg Code: Nuremburg Code The experiment should be conducted only by scientifically qualified persons. The highest degree of skill and care should be required through all stages of the experiment of those who conduct or engage in the experiment. During the course of the experiment, the human subject should be at liberty to bring the experiment to an end, if he has reached the physical or mental state, where continuation of the experiment seemed to him to be impossible. During the course of the experiment, the scientist in charge must be prepared to terminate the experiment at any stage, if he has probable cause to believe, in the exercise of the good faith, superior skill and careful judgment required of him, that a continuation of the experiment is likely to result in injury, disability, or death to the experimental subject.