1974 July 12

National Research Act Protects Human Research Subjects


The National Research Act, signed into law on this day, created the National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research. Revelations about the abuse of human research subjects, including the notorious Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment (exposed by The New York Times on July 26, 1972), led to a movement to provide formal procedures to ensure that people were not subject to research that might endanger them in some way without their informed consent. The Commission led to the Belmont Report on September 30, 1978, which recommended steps necessary to ensure informed consent. These efforts led to the creation of Institutional Review Board (IRB) at universities and other research institutions to ensure the protection of human subjects.

Learn more about the history of human experimentation: http://micahbooks.com/human-experimentation-33.html

Read about the shameful Tuskegee experiment: James Jones, Bad Blood: The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment (New and Expanded Edition 1992)

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

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