Monash Bioethics Review

, Volume 21, Issue 3, pp S72–S73 | Cite as

Research ethics review and the bureaucracy

  • Paul M. McNeill


This paper suggests that the increasing bureaucracy of ethics review by committee is more about fulfilling institutional requirements than it is about ethics. It is suggested that ethics committees should not be instruments of bureaucratic regulation and control. They should be freed to play a critical role within the institution, to support and develop ethical research and researchers, and given time to discuss and explore difficult ethical issues where they arise. To burden research ethics committees with trivial bureaucratic tasks is to miss an opportunity for healthy exchanges of views about ethics and to distort the nature and meaning of ethics.


Monash Bioethic Review Cautionary Tale Institutional Requirement Australian Guideline Research Ethic Review 
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Copyright information

© Monash University 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul M. McNeill
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Public Health and Community MedicineUniversity of New South WalesAustralia

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