IRB Decision-Making with Imperfect Knowledge: A Framework for Evidence-Based Research Ethics Review


  • Emily E. Anderson,

    1. Assistant Professor at the Neiswanger Institute for Bioethics, Health Sciences Division, Loyola University Chicago.
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  • James M. DuBois

    1. Hubert Mäder Professor of Health Care Ethics and Director of the Bander Center for Medical Business Ethics and the Social Science Research Group at Saint Louis University.
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Here we describe the five steps of evidence-based practice as applied to research ethics review and apply these steps to three exemplar dilemmas: incentive payments in substance abuse research; informed consent for biobanking; and placebo-controlled trials involving pregnant women in order to demonstrate the potential of empirical data to inform and improve IRB decision-making.