WMU News

Panel discussion planned on emergency research ethical issues

March 5, 1998

KALAMAZOO -- A panel of experts will lead a discussion on "Ethical Issues in Emergency Research" at 3 p.m. Friday, March 20, in Room 208 of Western Michigan University's Bernhard Center.

The free event is being sponsored by WMU's Center for the Study of Ethics in Society.

Until recently, research ethics, the Nuremberg Code and U.S. government policy forbid conducting research on people whose informed consent could not be obtained. While considered the hallmark of protection for those involved in research, these restrictions also made it impossible to conduct much-needed research in emergency situations, such as when there is head trauma, when the patient is unconscious and when relatives cannot be reached.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently lifted its ban and defined certain conditions under which research can be conducted. The panelists will discuss the need for research without consent in emergency situations, the restrictions placed on such research by the FDA and the ethical issues in these situations.

Participating will be: Gail Pilgrim Ross, a food and drug attorney who specializes in pharmaceutical matters; Tim Hillary, a field investigator and the resident in charge of the Kalamazoo Resident Post for the FDA; and Dr. Richard Lammers, a board-certified emergency room physician and research director in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the Michigan State University/Kalamazoo Center for Medical Studies.

Media contact: Ruth Stevens; ruth.stevens@wmich.edu

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