Thursday, October 17, 2019
The quest to discover effective treatments and cures for diseases and conditions is a worthwhile and compelling goal. Scientific research is responsible for innovative breakthroughs that improve quality of life, extend survival, and even prove life-saving. But alongside the potential benefits of scientific research are the potential risks to the people who participate in the journey that makes breakthroughs possible. The Belmont Report identifies basic ethical principles for conducting research that involve human subjects and sets forth guidelines to assure these principles are followed throughout the research process. The Belmont Report is the result of over four years of meetings that began in 1976 and were conducted by the National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research (Commission). With the Food and Drug Reauthorization Act of 2017’s recent amendment of the term patient experience data to now include both “physical and psychosocial impacts of a disease or condition, or related therapy or clinical investigation,” it is a particularly relevant and important time to revisit the ethical principles established in the Belmont Report.