Institutional Review Board Approaches to the Incidental Findings Problem

Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 36 (2):352-355 (2008)
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Abstract

With rapidly expanding technological capacity, research has outpaced the existing infrastructure of ethical and regulatory guidance. In the area of incidental findings, this is particularly true.The regulations under which most Institutional Review Boards operate were established over 25 years ago and have not been substantially altered in the intervening years. The technology available today that creates the opportunity for IFs was not conceived of, or considered, in the crafting of those regulations. Therefore, little guidance can be derived directly from these regulations. Rather, aspects of existing ethical guidance and regulations can be adapted to assist IRBs and researchers in dealing with issues surrounding IFs.

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