In collaboration with First Clinical Research, each month we share a new question and accompanying anonymous survey, designed to encourage critical thinking about questions in clinical research and highlight discussion generated by the prior month’s question.

This month’s question:

You are the director of human research protection at a community hospital. You have one IRB with seven members. Six of the members are physicians with staff privileges at your hospital. The seventh member, a representative from the community, just resigned from the IRB. Six qualified people have applied to fill the empty seat: a bioethicist, a minister, a former study participant, a community leader, a sociologist, and a member of a disadvantaged group served by the hospital. Because of a hospital policy that is set in stone, you can accept only one new IRB member.

The Question of the Month also appears on the IRB Forum. The IRB Forum is a robust community of IRB professionals engaged in an ongoing discussion of the latest issues and questions that arise for human subjects protections professionals. An account is free, and gives you access to an invaluable resource—the insight of your peers.

PRIM&R thanks Norm Goldfarb of First Clinical Research for allowing us to share this feature with our community!

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One thought on “Clinical Research Question of the Month: August 2017

  1. Bev Taft RN MSN

    My first thought, with a speck of humor, was the minister because the Lord knows that at times the IRB members may need a bit of divine guidance. But really thinking about this, I decided on the bioethicist. Bioethicists are concerned with the ethical questions that arise in the relationships for human subject research among life sciences, biotechnology, medicine, politics, law, and philosophy. This person would have a huge responsibility balancing various views with 6 physicians, and that is why I chose the bioethicist as an important person to be considered as the replacement to fill the Board’s empty seat.