The National Commission

Revelations of the aforementioned unethical studies led to public scrutiny and debate regarding human subjects research and ultimately regulatory attempts to prevent abuse. Particular concerns were respect for persons (i.e., research subjects) and the equitable distribution of the burdens and benefits of research. Congressional hearings led to the passage of the National Research Act in 1974. This act mandated the establishment of institutional review boards (IRBs) for the independent review of research at institutions receiving federal support for human subject research and created the National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research. A major achievement of the National Commission was the influential Belmont Report (The Belmont Report, 1979).

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