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Center for Policy Studies
Public Affairs Discussion Group

Perspectives on Human Subjects Research Requirements

Suzanne Rivera Ph.D., M.S.W. - Vice President for Research and Assistant Professor of Bioethics at Case Western Reserve University
Friday November 14, 2014
12:30-1:30 p.m.
***Alternative Venue: LL06 B & C at Kelvin Smith Library ***
Case Western Reserve University

Dear Colleagues:

The history of human subjects research protocols goes back at least to 1900, when Walter Reed had volunteers sign permission forms for his yellow fever research in Cuba. A series of studies that became public in the 1960s led to new Public Health Service informed consent procedures. This was not enough to prevent outrage when, in 1972, the New York Times revealed the Tuskegee Syphilis Study. Congress then passed the National Research Act, which led to the regulations under which Institutional Review Boards in each institution now review faculty and student research.

All of this seems reasonable in principle. But it can lead to puzzling interpretations, from the researcher's perspective, for social science research. Are politicians, for example, "human subjects" who need protection from the harm that might be done to them by researchers who ask them questions? If so, why is journalism allowed to proceed without similar regulation?

Dr. Rivera, who has served as Associate Vice President for Research addressing such questions, has just been promoted to be the University's Vice President for Research. So it's a good time to ask her about how the process works and can be improved.

All best regards,
Joe White
Luxenberg Family Professor of Public Policy and Director, Center for Policy Studies

About Our Guest

Dr. Rivera, newly appointed Vice President for Research for CWRU, joined the university at the beginning of 2011 as Associate Vice President for Research, with broad responsibility for oversight of the research enterprise. In that position one of her most significant initiatives involved the selection, development and deployment of Sparta, the university's new electronic research proposal and submission tracking system. She has served on the Secretary's Advisory Committee on Human Research Protections at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and recently concluded a term on the board of the National Council of University Research Administrators. This Fall, she was named to the Human Studies Review Board of the Environmental Protection Agency. Dr. Rivera also serves as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Bioethics.

Where We Meet

The Friday Public Affairs Lunch convenes each Friday when classes are in session, from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. The lower level classrooms B & C are located in the basement of Kelvin Smith Library directly across the lobby from the main elevators.

Parking Possibilities

The most convenient parking is the lot underneath Severance Hall. We regret that it is not free. From that lot there is an elevator up to street level (labeled as for the Thwing Center); it is less than 50 yards from that exit to the library entrance. You can get from the Severance garage to the library without going outside. Near the entry gates - just to the right if you were driving out - there is a door into a corridor. Walk down the corridor and there will be another door. Beyond that door you'll find the entrance to an elevator which goes up to an entrance right inside the doors to Kelvin Smith Library.

November 21: Local Government in an Age of Austerity. With David B. Miller, Associate Professor in the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences and Council President, City of South Euclid.

November 28: Thanksgiving Break

December 5: Godless Democrats and Pious Republicans: Party Activists and the Mythical God Gulf. With Ryan Claassen, Associate Professor of Political Science, Kent State University.

November 10, 2014

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Upcoming Events

The Ebola Epidemic, Public Health & the Government’s Response

With Maxwell J. Mehlman Professor of Law and Director, The Law Medicine Center at Case Western Reserve University School of Law; Jessica Berg, Interim Dean, Tom J.E. and Bette Lou Walker Professor of Law, and Professor of Bioethics & Public Health; Scott H Frank, MD, MS , Associate Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, CWRU School of Medicine; Jim Kazura, MD, Distinguished University Professor, Director of the Center for Global Health and Diseases at the CWRU School of Medicine. Tuesday November 11, 2014, 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m., Room 159, Case Western Reserve University School of Law, 11075 East Boulevard, Cleveland, OH 44106-7148.

The Ebola epidemic has captured attention world-wide. What are the responsibilities of individuals, medical and public health professionals, government agencies, schools and universities? How should we understand this disease in the context of other public health concerns? What is the scope of public health powers? Please join us for a panel discussion.

From Repair to Inclusion: Changing Perspectives on Disability in Health Reform

Bob Joondeph, Executive Director, Disability Rights Oregon (DRO), Thursday November 13, 2014, 4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m., Moot Court Room (A59), Case Western Reserve University School of Law, 11075 East Boulevard, Cleveland, OH 44106-7148.

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) specifically mentioned health services as an area in which discrimination stubbornly persists. This lecture will explore how core values of the disability rights movement have influenced medical ethics, decision-making and health care reform.

November 2014












































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