Joint Research Office


Research ethics paper cited by Obama commission

6 February 2012

Work by the UCLH/UCL/RFH research support centre's lead for education in research ethics and governance Dr Sarah J L Edwards has been cited by President Obama's commission looking at research standards.

A recent paper by Dr Edwards on research ethics and published in the highest ranking journal of the field, the American Journal of Bioethics, was cited by the US Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical issues in its recent report 'Moral Science: Protecting Participants in Human Subjects Research'.

The Obama commission was looking into research standards following the October 2010 revelation that the US Public Health Service supported unethical research in Guatemala from 1946 to 1948.

Dr Edwards paper suggests that, although current orthodoxy is that clinical trial subjects reserve the right to withdraw from a trial at any time without giving a reason, subjects should assume some responsibilities in research. Dr Edwards is senior lecturer in research ethics and governance.

Edwards SJL. Assessing the remedy: the case for contracts in clinical trials The American Journal of Bioethics 2011; 11(4): 1-10