News of the WeekRESEARCH ETHICS

Panel Tightens Rules on Mental Disorders

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Science  27 Nov 1998:
Vol. 282, Issue 5394, pp. 1617
DOI: 10.1126/science.282.5394.1617a

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Summary

A presidential panel's call for stronger protection of mental patients who take part in research is drawing fire from clinical psychiatrists and some advocacy groups. The clinicians say that the report, a final draft of which was approved on 12 November by the National Bioethics Advisory Commission, would impose too many constraints on research and would further stigmatize an already vulnerable population by singling out people with mental disorders for competency tests. Some patient advocates, on the other hand, complain that the new rules would still permit some research to go ahead without a patient's approval.