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Challenging Ethical Issues in Contemporary Research on Human Beings

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At the NHMRC's National Ethics Conference in May 2005, the federal Minister for Health & Ageing, the Hon Tony Abbott MP asked the Australian Health Ethics Committee (AHEC) to prepare a report that illustrates the "challenging and interesting" issues that arise in considering human research proposals.


AHEC acknowledges that Human Research Ethics Committees (HRECs) tackle complex and sensitive issues such as participant consent, patient safety and welfare, privacy and disclosure, and the scientific merit of research proposals. Issues that need to be considered are increasing in complexity because medical science is opening up possibilities that have not previously existed and researchers are proposing new areas of study as a result of this ever-expanding range of scientific interest. The kinds of dilemmas faced by HRECs are illustrated in the ten case studies included in the report.


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Page last updated on 25 March 2015