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November 27, 1996

Bioethics Advisory Commission Holds First Meeting to Define Governing Principles of Ethical Research

JAMA. 1996;276(20):1627. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03540200013005

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ENSURING BETTER protection for human subjects who participate in biomedical and behavioral research and determining the appropriate use of genetic testing were 2 charges to the National Bioethics Advisory Commission at its inaugural meeting. The 18-member group met early last month at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Md, a year after President Clinton ordered its creation.

Officially, the commission terminates in October 1997. But, said its chair, Harold T. Shapiro, PhD, "We're behaving as if the commission will go on for 4 or 5 years. Certainly we are designing our work for a longer horizon than 1 year." Shapiro is president of Princeton University, Princeton, NJ.

Recommendations Requested  The development of recommendations to ensure the well-being, autonomy, and privacy of human subjects undergoing experimental treatment, as well as recommendations for the appropriate use of genetic information, was requested of the 17-member commission by John H. Gibbons,