Challenges for ethics committees in biomedical research governance: illustrations from China and Australia
In this paper, the evolution of the ethics committees for health research, their history, membership, and function in China and Australia is described. Investigators in each country compared the history and governance of their ethical systems based on the published evidence rather than personal opinions. Similarly, examples of challenges were selected from the literature. In both countries, the aim was to maximize the social benefits of research and minimize the risk imposed on the participants. Common challenges include maintaining independence, funding and delivering timely ethical reviews of the research projects. These challenges can be difficult where research ethics committees rely on voluntary contributions and lack a strong resource base. They must adapt to the increasingly rapid pace of research as well as the technological sophistication. Population health research can challenge the conventional views of consent and privacy. The principles of the sound ethical review are common in both countries; governance arrangements and operational procedures, however, can differ, reflecting the cultural values and norms of their host countries and in respect of legal environments. By studying the evolution and function of ethics committees in the two countries, we established the differences in the governance and health systems, while similar ethical objectives helped sustain collaborative research.
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|Australia China Ethics committees History|
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