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IRBs and the Regulation of Social Science Research

  • Lawrence Susskind
  • Linda Vandergrift

Abstract

The use of IRBs as a mechanism for regulating federally-funded research followed from the Public Health Service rules of 1966. These were issued in response to the public outcry against certain rather disturbing findings with some medical experiments.(1) The social science community was somewhat surprised, however, when the federal government insisted some years later that IRBs had responsibility for overseeing social science research as well as biomedical research involving human subjects. Although the original rules had ostensibly applied to social science research, neither the Public Health Service nor any of the early IRBs interpreted these regulations literally (Gray, 1979; Seiler and Murtha, 1979).

Keywords

Social Research Federal Regulation Social Science Research National Commission Review Procedure 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Reference Notes

  1. 1.
    The Public Health Service, PPO number 129, February 8, 1966; revised July 1, 1966. The major medical experiment was conducted in 1964 at the Jewish Chronic Disease Hospital where researchers injected live cancer cells beneath the skin of nonconsenting geriatric patients.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Belmont Report, Ethical Principles and Guidelines for the Protection of Human Subjects of Research, Vol. II, Appendix, p. 18-1, DHEW Publication No. (OS) 78-0014.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    The most outspoken critic of the proposed regulations is Dr. Ithiel de Sola Pool, Sloan Professor of Political Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    The National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research, The Belmont Report, Ethical Principles and Guidelines for the Protection of Human Subjects of Research, DHEW Publication No. (OS) 78-0012, Washington, D.C., 1978. (Published in the Federal Register, April 18, 1979, Vol. 44, No. 76, pp. 23192-23197.).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Ibid., p. 23194.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Ithiel de Sola, from a copy of testimony before the President’s Commission for the Study of Ethical Problems in Medicine and Biomedical and Behavioral Research, July 12, 1980, p. 3.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Survey Research Center, University of Michigan, 1978 Research involving human subjects: in Reports and Recommendations of the National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research, DHEW Publication No. (OS) 78-009.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    The Institutions asked to participate in our study were University of Illinois, The Johns Hopkins University, University of Texas—Austin, University of Southern California—Los Angeles, University of Pennsylvania, University of Iowa, University of Washington, Colum-.Google Scholar

References

  1. Caplan, A. L., 1979, HEW’s painless way to review human research, The New York Times, 1979(December 27):A22.Google Scholar
  2. Gray, B. H., 1979, Human subjects review committees and social research, in: Federal Regulations, Ethical Issues and Social Research (M. L. Wax and J. Cassell, eds.) pp. 43–58, Westview Press, Boulder, Colorado.Google Scholar
  3. Gray, B. H., 1980, Social research and the proposed DHEW regulations, IRB 2(1):1–5, 12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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  7. Pool, I. S., 1979, Prior restraint, The New York Times 1979(December 16):64.Google Scholar
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  9. Seiler, L. H. and Murtha, J. M., 1979, Federal regulation of social research, in: Freedom at Issue (reprint) Freedom House, New York.Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lawrence Susskind
    • 1
  • Linda Vandergrift
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Urban Studies and PlanningMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA

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