1978 September 30

Belmont Report: Protection of Human Subjects in Research

 

The Belmont Report, issued on this day, was the official report of the National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research. The Commission had been established by Congress with the National Research Act on July 12, 1974, following revelations of abuse of people in biomedical research. The most notorious case was the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment, which involved grotesque abuses of African-Americans in a research study that began in the 1930s. That experiment was exposed on July 26, 1972, and President Bill Clinton issued an official apology to the survivors on May 16, 1997.

The exposé of the Tuskegee Experiment played a major role in forcing Congress to act on human subjects’ protection. The Belmont Report helped establish the current standards for the protection of human subjects.Universities, for example, are required to maintain an Institutional Review Board (IRB) to review and approve research on human subjects.

Another of the  notorious experiments on human subjects without informed consent involved the CIA’s MKULTRA project, which it began on April 13, 1953.

Learn more about the Belmont Report: http://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/humansubjects/guidance/belmont.html

Read about the notorious Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment: James Jones, Bad Blood: The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment (1993)

Watch a documentary on the experiment: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUExxTIFaLE

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