groups » General Discussion Forum » Advice about independence needed please

One of our discussion Forum members has asked us to post the following:

I am member of a Bioethics Committee to evaluate research in a university in South America. We are a committee to evaluate research not only in health disciplines but also the social sciences. Our committee is established within a university department responsible for financial support for research.

Our main problem is the opposition inside of the University where we are. This is because of ignorance about the independent nature of this type of committee. Some senior University staff want to control our committee, name the members, determine the duration of membership etc. All of this because they did not like our findings in some of the reviewed projects!!
I would like to have some references about autonomy, designation of members etc.


  • lunitaviajera Florencia Luna 5 Nov 2012

    Hola Ximena,
    Como te señala Susan podes recurrir a esas guías de la OMS para buscar apoyo bibliografico.... sin embargo, yo creo que ademas del apoyo bibliografico seria bueno si pudieras ayudar a tomar conciencia en la institucion de la importancia de contar con un buen comite de etica (CEI). Para ello podrias organizar algunas conferencias abiertas a todos en las cuales se expongan la importancia de la buena investigacion, los abusos que han habido en el pasado, etc...hacer tomar conciencia de la importancia del rol que cumple el CEI...i te parece una estrategia posible con gusto te ayudo a pensar como organizarlo...
    Florencia Luna (FLACSO Argentina)

  • Susan Susan 11 Oct 2012

    I'm sorry to hear you are having these problems.

    One reference that might be useful is the World Health Organization's Standards and Operational Guidance for Ethics Review of Health-Related Research with Human Participants. They refer at multiple points about the need for independence of review.

    I've linked the report below and it's available at

    Please let us know how you get on.

    Attached files: WHO_Standards_and_Operational_Guidelines_for_Ethical_Review.pdf

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