By David Borasky, PRIM&R board member
- A presentation on internet research and the ethical issues it poses. The presenters debated questions such as, “How will reviewing studies in the virtual world be challenging for institutional review boards (IRBs)?”
- A panel describing how various institutions have developed ethics consultation services for their research communities. This panel also considered the role of the IRB with respect to these consultations.
- One subcommittee worked with SACHRP to finalize a set of more than 20 frequently asked questions on IRB requirements for research involving biospecimens. Audience members listened in as the SACHRP worked to craft language on specimens that would meet OHRP, the Office for Civil Rights, and the HIPAA Privacy Rule’s standards.
- Finally, PRIM&R board members Pearl O’Rourke and Bill Freeman joined members of the Havasupai Tribe in making emotional presentations on the Havasupai DNA rights case.
Every presentation panel featured experts who can be found on past and present PRIM&R faculty lists, and all of these presentation topics will be covered at the 2010 Advancing Ethical Research Conference.What you may not know about SACHRP, though, is that the meetings are held three times per year in the Washington, DC, area, and are free and open to the public. Individuals who attend SACHRP meetings are fortunate to witness robust discussions between the committee, presenters, invited guests, OHRP staff, and the ex officio members. If being a fly on the wall isn’t exciting enough, there are opportunities for networking with SACHRP members, presenters, and observers, as well as time reserved for public comment at the end of each day.The SACHRP website, which is maintained by OHRP, contains minutes of past meetings as well as presentation materials, copies of correspondence with the Secretary for Health and Human Services, and the schedule of upcoming meetings. I know that I will be attending the SACHRP meetings in the future, and hope to see my colleagues from the HRPP field there, too.