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Does setting good practice standards for research ethics committees increase their legal liability?

BMJ 1997; 314 doi: (Published 21 June 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;314:1833
  1. Julian Savulescu, Sir Robert Menzies medical scholara,
  2. Iain Chalmers, Director, UK Cochrane Centreb,
  3. Jennifer Blunt, Former chair, Salford research ethics committeec
  1. a Clinical Ethics Project, Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals, Oxford OX3 9RP
  2. b NHS Research and Development Programme, Oxford OX2 7LG
  3. c Salford and Trafford Health Authority, Eccles M30 0NJ

    Editor—As a result of our paper1 Neville W Goodman and Alaisdair MacGowan “feel most beleaguered” and fear that research ethics committees must brace themselves to be sued when they fail to meet the standards of good practice that we have set them.2 We stated that research ethics committees should be held accountable if they failed to meet these standards, but our article was concerned with moral, not legal, accountability.

    Could research …

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