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J Empir Res Hum Res Ethics. 2010 Mar;5(1):83-91. doi: 10.1525/jer.2010.5.1.83.

Attitudes toward genetic research review: results from a national survey of professionals involved in human subjects protection.

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Center for Genetic Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL 60611, USA.


The recent expansion of human genetics research has raised complex ethical and regulatory issues. However, few published reports describe the views of professionals involved in human subjects protection (HSP) regarding the risks and benefits of genetic research. This anonymous, web-based study elicited the opinions of 208 HSP professionals about review of genetic research. The majority of respondents felt that different guidance is needed for various aspects of genetic protocol review compared with other types of human subjects research. Importantly, opinions were divided on specific genetic research issues, such as what constitutes human subjects research, when to re-consent, and the likelihood and risks of research participant identification. Findings from this study illustrate the need for a collaborative approach to ethics oversight in the review and conduct of genetic research.

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