Protecting Your Rights As A Medical Study Volunteer

You may be hesitant to volunteer for a medical study because you are not sure if the researcher from the medical research team can be trusted. To protect your rights, the National Research Act was passed in 1974. This act led to the establishment of Institutional Review Boards (IRBs). IRBs exist to protect the rights of trial participants. An IRB is a group that consists of people such as doctors, lawyers, community members, and members of the clergy.

In order to run a clinical trial at a hospital, clinic or private doctor’s office, the research investigator must submit an application to the IRB at that site or to a central IRB. The application contains detailed information about the clinical trial. The IRB reviews the application to make sure that the trial asks a worthwhile scientific question and that the trial design is ethical.

IRBs also review the safety monitoring of the trial. Researchers are required to submit regular reports about the progress of the trials and to inform the IRB about any side effects that trial participants experience.

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