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August 22, 1980

Institutional Review Board

Author Affiliations

Yale University School of Medicine New Haven, Conn

JAMA. 1980;244(8):769-770. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03310080011011

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To the Editor.—  I read with considerable interest the announcement of the conference presented on March 27 and 28, 1980, by Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research (PRIM&R) (242:527, 1980). This announcement stated thatExperts in the fields of research, regulation, industry, bioethics, and the administration of research will participate in small group discussions, topical workshops, and plenary sessions covering the roles, rights, and responsibilities of government, the researcher, the IRB: A Review of Human Subjects Research, and the subject.As editor of IRB: A Review of Human Subjects Research, I should have been most pleased if this statement were correct. However, the third topic of discussion actually was the Institutional Review Board, commonly abbreviated IRB. For those readers who are unfamiliar with this term, this is the generic name assigned by Congress in 1974 to committees that review proposals to do research involving human subjects. These committees are charged