Protection of human participants in health research - a comparison of some US Federal Regulations and South African Research Ethics guidelines

P Cleaton-Jones, D Wassenaar


In response to criticism of ethical review of a South African clinical trial, we contrast aspects of the United States Common Rule with South African research ethics requirements. In the USA the Common Rule does not apply to all health research and allows many exemptions from ethics review and waivers of informed consent. At a structural level research ethics review in South Africa is in many cases equivalent to the US institutional review board (IRB) and Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP) oversight system, is wider reaching, and has no exclusions.

Authors' affiliations

P Cleaton-Jones, Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics

D Wassenaar,

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Bioethics, research ethics

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2010;100(11):710,712-716.

Article History

Date submitted: 2010-09-13
Date published: 2010-11-09

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