Date of this Version
Federal policies on human research subjects have undergone a progressive transformation. In the early decades of the twentieth century, federal policies largely relied on the discretion of investigators to decide when and how to conduct research. This approach gradually gave way to policies that augmented investigator discretion with externally imposed protections. We may now be entering an era of even more stringent external protections. Whether the new policies effectively absolve investigators of personal responsibility for conducting ethical research, and whether it is wise to do so, remains to be seen.
Date Posted: 20 March 2007