Situation analysis of local ethical committees in medical sciences in Iran

Yousef Fakour, Monir Baradaran Eftekhari, Zohre Haghighi, Najmeh Khosravan Mehr, Farzaneh Hejazi


  • BACKGROUND: Local ethical committees in medical sciences in Iran were established in 1999 in order to assess and evaluate the observance of ethical standards throughout the universities and research centers. The purpose of this study is to analyze the situation of local ethical committees in order to develop research ethics guideline.
  • METHODS: For this cross-sectional study which has been conducted with the support of WHO, 40 local ethical committees in all universities of medical sciences were evaluated by use of determined questionnaires.
  • RESULTS: In this study, 40 universities of medical sciences participated; all of them have established local ethical committees. Each committee has 5 to 11 members and in more than 80% cases, written guidelines for selecting the committee's members are available. The minimum number of members for official session is at least 3 and replacement of absent members, did not take place in more than 85% of the committees. Informed consent in 95% of these local ethical committees is available. In all committees, researches regarding the use of human subjects are under ethical consideration. In half of the local ethical committees, penalties for non-compliance with the regulations are considered. The average number of research project evaluated in last session of these committees was 15.2 and the committees in 50% of cases have provided ethics training specifically for their members.
  • CONCLUSIONS: Policymakers should develop a standard guideline for local ethical committees in medical science universities in Iran.
  • KEYWORDS: Situation Analysis, Ethics Committees, Medical Sciences, Iran.


situation analysis, ethical committee, medical sciences, Iran

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