One of the CEO’s functions under the NHMRC Act is to inquire into, issue guidelines on, and advise the community on ethical issues relating to health. This function includes the issuing of human research guidelines. Under Section 10(2) of the NHMRC Act, the Council may only provide human research guidelines to the CEO under Section 9(1) precisely as developed by AHEC.
The functions of AHEC, as set out in Section 35(3) of the NHMRC Act, are:
- to advise the Council on the ethical issues relating to health; and
- to develop and give the Council human research guidelines under subsection 10(2) of the NHMRC Act; and
- any other functions conferred on the Committee in writing by the Minister after consulting the CEO; and
- any other functions conferred on the Committee by the NHMRC Act, the regulations or any other law.
In the course of its activities, AHEC consults extensively with individuals, community organisations, health professionals and governments, and undertakes formal public consultation when developing guidelines. AHEC may also provide advice on international developments in health ethics issues.
AHEC's composition is specified in the NHMRC Act. Members draw on expertise in philosophy, the ethics of medical research, public health and social science research, clinical medical practice and nursing, disability, law, religion and health consumer issues.
Under Section 36(2) of the NHMRC Act, there must be included among members of AHEC individuals who collectively have membership of all the other Principal Committees.
There are 17 members of AHEC for the 2012-15 triennium.
|Professor Ian Olver AM, Chair|
|Dr Gary Allen|
|Professor Vicki Anderson|
|Professor Samar Aoun|
|Professor Susan Dodds|
|Associate Professor Ian Kerridge|
|Dr Tammy Kimpton|
|Rabbi Aviva Kipen|
|Revd Kevin McGovern|
|Professor John McGrath AM|
|Dr Eleanor Milligan|
|Professor Robin Mortimer AO|
|Ms Kay Oke|
|Professor Margaret Otlowski|
|Professor Debra Rickwood|
|Professor Wendy Rogers|
|Professor Loane Skene|
Projects and activities
AHEC establishes working committees for selected projects, under Section 39 of the National Health and Medical Research Act 1992. AHEC undertakes a rolling review of the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research and other projects to address contemporary issues in health and medical research. Click here for more information about guideline development.
AHEC is currently undertaking work in the following areas:
- A review of Part B of the Ethical Guidelines on the use of Assisted Reproductive Technology in Clinical Practice and Research
Revisions to the National Statement:
- Public consultation on the inclusion of guidelines on opt-out consent into Chapter 2.3 closes on 12 July 2013 (View the Public consultation on the Revision of the National Statement Chapter 2.3),
- Finalisation of Chapter 3.4: Human Biospecimens in Laboratory Based Research,
- Appraisal of the National Statement to determine whether it continues to meet the needs of users and to determine priority areas for future review.
Determining the type of ethical guidance required for:
- the return of results for genetic/genomic research.
- quality improvement activities.
- Preparing input for a public consultation on Revisions to the Declaration of Helsinki.
- Considering the broader application of the National Statement to human research.
GPO Box 1421
Canberra ACT 2601
|Telephone||(02) 6217 9487|