Local research ethics committees

BMJ 1997; 315 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.315.7099.60b (Published 05 July 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;315:60

BMA's advice about approval of clinical audit studies is confusing

  1. P V Scott, Consultanta,
  2. C A Pinnock, Consultanta
  1. a Department of Anaesthetics, Alexandra Hospital, Redditch B98 7UB
  2. b Radcliffe Infirmary NHS Trust, Oxford OX2 6HE

    Editor—The burden on Brighton's local research ethics committee is likely to get worse.1 One international medical journal of reference, in its advice to authors, has introduced a new caveat: “prospective ethics approval should be acquired for papers based on clinical audit data.”2

    The caveat is based on two contradictory paragraphs in the BMA's Ethical Issues in Audit.3 Paragraph 4.4 says: “audit is intended to influence the activities of an individual or team, i.e. [it is] local; but research attempts to influence medical practice as a whole.” This seems to mean that if …

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