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Contrary to what some people might believe the Institutional Review Board (IRB) is not about creating more red tape and work for researchers. The modern day IRB is the result of a process that started as a reaction to the grotesque human experimentation by the Nazis during WWII. Other subsequent landmark incidents such as the Tuskegee Syphilis Study led to the development of the guiding principles of human subject research known as 45 CFR 46. These principles attempt to ensure that all research conducted with human subjects is done in an ethical manner that respects the dignity of all persons.

Additional Resources and Reading:

Research Ethics

Office of Human Research Protections (OHRP)

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

The Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues Report: “Ethically Impossible” STD Research in Guatemala from 1946 to 1948