The National Ethics Advisory Committee (NEAC) sought feedback on the current health and disability research ethics arrangements, issues with these arrangements and ideas for enhancing them.

This work covered the responsibility for ethical health and disability research and the standards, processes and structures that support this responsibility.

NEAC’s discussion document outlined issues across six areas, discusses current and other possible responses to these issues, and asked questions for feedback. The issues related to:

  • the complex research ethics landscape
  • Māori and health research
  • alternative ethical review structures
  • peer review for scientific validity
  • audit and audit-related activity
  • innovative practice.

Some of these issues related to the 2012 changes to the Health and Disability Ethics Committees. NEAC’s interest in the HDEC changes was as part of the wider context of cross-sectoral ethics arrangements, and was not intended as a review of those changes.

This consultation closed on Friday 27 February 2015.

Summary of submissions

This document is a summary of the 34 submissions NEAC received from a range of organisations and individuals. NEAC would like to thank everyone who provided feedback.

Aspects of the feedback will directly inform NEAC's current review of its Ethical Guidelines for Observational Studies and Ethical Guidelines for Intervention Studies. NEAC will also be considering what further work is needed to address other issues not covered by the guidelines review. This work will inform NEAC's advice to the Associate Minister of Health later this year on identified issues and how these may be best addressed.

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