FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 15, 2011
Contact: HHS Press Office
Statement from Department of Health and Human Services on the Bioethics Commission’s human subjects’ protection report
The U.S. government considers the protection of human subjects in research to be of paramount importance and requires all federally funded research on human subjects to adhere to the most stringent ethical guidelines.
The Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues, at the request of President Obama, launched a review of federal regulations and international standards that oversee the health and well-being of participants in federally funded scientific studies. The request came after revelations of unethical research conducted by the U.S. Public Health Service in Guatemala in the 1940s. Today, the commission announced its determination that current standards overseeing human subjects’ research are sufficient to prevent the egregious abuses that occurred in the past.
There are currently numerous safeguards in place in the United States to prohibit these types of unethical practices, and the commission’s review of current regulations and standards is part of the administration's ongoing effort to ensure we have the best possible human subject protection in the U.S. and around the world. We will review its recommendations for strengthening these safeguards.
We thank the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues for its hard work on this important issue.
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Last revised: February 15, 2012