Department of Research and Innovation
HREC - Information for patients
What is a Human Research Ethics Committee?
Research proposals involving human participants must be reviewed and approved by a Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) before the research can commence. The HREC is established by and advises an institution or organisation, in this case CDD, regarding ethical approval for research projects.
What is the role of a Human Research Ethics Committee?
"To protect the welfare and rights of the participants in research and the primary responsibility of each member is to decide, independently, whether in his or her opinion, the conduct of each research proposal submitted to the HREC will protect participants." (NHMRC - National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Research Involving Humans), whilst considering the principles of ethical conduct:
- Integrity - honest and ethical conduct of research
- Regard for welfare, rights, beliefs, perceptions etc
- Responsibility to minimise risks of harm or discomfort
- Respect for dignity and wellbeing
- Consent MUST be obtained before patient participation
- Research merit and safety must be demonstrated
- by providing objective and informed opinions about new research protocols, the HREC aims to protect the rights and welfare of participants in clinical trials;
- in ensuring the safety of patients in clinical trials, the HREC also facilitates research that will benefit the worldwide community;
- the HREC protects the integrity of research and development into gastroenterological disorders at CDD and safeguards the wellbeing of patients participating in clinical trials.
Who are members of an HREC?
The members of an HREC must be representative of the community. As such a minimum composition is required. There must be at least one of each:
- 2 Persons with knowledge of and current experience in areas of research regularly considered (e.g. health, medical, social, psychological etc)
- Person with knowledge of and current experience in the professional care, counseling or treatment of people (e.g. doctor, nurse, social worker etc)
- Minister of Religion (can be of any religion)
If you have been involved in a clinical trial at CDD and wish to make a complaint regarding the ethical conduct of the staff, please email email@example.com.