The Department of Health and Human Services is proposing new rules about how researchers can use human subjects in their studies, reports The New York Times' Andrew Pollack. The government says the new guidelines strengthen protections for study subjects and reduce red tape. "The officials said the changes were needed to deal with a vastly altered research climate, whose new features include genomics studies using patients' DNA samples, the use of the Internet and a growing reliance on studies that take place at many sites at once," Pollack says. The changes include adjustments in informed consent standards and to institutional review boards. Some researchers, however, say the changes will impede their work, not help it. The process, however, is still in the early stages, so concerned stakeholders can still be heard during the public comment period over the next 60 days, Pollack says.
Jul 26, 2011