President’s Bioethics Commissions Seeks Comments on Human Research Protections

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues requests public comment on federal and international standards for protecting the health and well-being of participants in federally-supported research.

The Commission’s review was prompted by President Obama’s request to examine the standards in light of revelations that the U.S. Public Health Service supported research on sexually transmitted diseases in the 1940s that involved intentionally infecting vulnerable populations in Guatemala. Fortunately, since that time, many more protections are in place in the U.S. and abroad (see highlights from Commission’s meeting).

An international panel will conduct the study, and a report of its findings and recommendations will be released later this year. The Commission is interested in receiving comments on the existing human research protection standards, both domestic and international; how the current system of global research works in practice; and the ethical and social justice issues that emerge from the current research system.

Also welcome are comments on the benefits of medical research, differences across global norms and standards, and challenges faced by U.S. funded researchers working internationally or international researchers collaborating on U.S.-funded research.

Comments are due May 2, 2011, and will be made publicly available. They may be submitted via email to:

See Federal Register notice for full details [PDF] »