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Ethics and Epidemiology$
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Steven S. Coughlin, Tom L. Beauchamp, and Douglas L. Weed

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195322934

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195322934.001.0001

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The Institutional Review Board

The Institutional Review Board

(p.245) 12 The Institutional Review Board
Ethics and Epidemiology

Robert J. Levine

Oxford University Press

This chapter describes the committees responsible for reviewing proposals to conduct research involving humans as subjects to determine whether they include adequate safeguards of the rights and welfare of the research subjects. These committees, generally called institutional review boards (IRBs), now exist in many locales in most countries. National regulations in an increasing number of countries and the leading international codes of research ethics establish the requirement that research involving humans as subjects, with few exceptions, may not be carried out without review and approval of these committees; hence their importance to epidemiologists. The history, composition, organizational settings, purposes of these committees, and major themes in contemporary controversies about them are discussed.

Keywords:   committees, institutional review boards, epidemiological research, IRBs, international codes

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