The Role of the Institutional Review Board and the Protection of Human Subjects

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Several historical events played a vital role in what has evolved to how we conduct research today and just as important, how the participants of such research are shielded and protected against the consequences that may be experienced as a result of these studies. We live in a world that is continuously changing and as we move forward, it is past experiences that influence how things are done in the present, and what may become in the future. The Institutional Review Board (IRB) exists to protect research subjects and ensure their rights are safeguarded and protected. This paper will discuss the role of the IRB and the protection of human subjects, the dilemma of societal advancements versus its cost on human subjects and the role of leadership in the IRB.
The Role of the IRB and the Protection of Human Subjects
The IRB’s role is to protect human subjects and to hold researchers accountable for the way in which information is collected and utilized for research (Sontag, 2012). Research must undergo a formal review process, which for many researchers may appear to be onerous but necessary (Kennedy, 2005).
What some scholars argue is the fact that IRB approval is still required for research on adults who are fully competent and willing to participate in the research. They suggest that it becomes burdensome on the researchers. Furthermore, they argue that if exempted from the review process, it may also free up time for the review board to be able to focus on research that
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