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News Release

Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2004

HHS Press Office
(202) 690-6343

HHS Observes 25th Anniversary of Belmont Report for Human Research Subject Protections

HHS today marked the 25th anniversary of the Belmont Report that articulated the founding principles for federal human research subject protections, with the release of an oral-history video about the report and a ceremony to honor the report's authors. The ceremony honored the members of the National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research, 1974-1979, which produced the Belmont Report and related seminal documents in bioethics and human subject protections.

"We owe a debt of gratitude to all of these individuals. They gave us a framework for the ethical use of research volunteers that has withstood the test of time," HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson said. "We honor those whose work continues to guide the research community both here and abroad in advancing science while protecting those who volunteer to take part in clinical research."

The Belmont Report's "Ethical Principles and Guidelines for the Protection of Human Subjects of Research" along with other commission documents marked a turning point in how human research was conducted in the United States. Prior to the report, researchers independently decided what was studied and how studies were conducted. Now however, the system provides protections, including ethical review by committees independent from the research. The Belmont Report identifies three fundamental ethical principles to which all human subject research must adhere -- respect for persons, beneficence and justice -- and those principles set the parameters for the regulations that are still in force today.

"We honor the signal contributions of this extraordinary group of individuals to the field of research bioethics," said Dr. Cristina Beato, acting assistant secretary for health. "Since the time of the commission, they have shaped and strengthened research bioethics and helped ensure the welfare of all who are part of the human research enterprise."

This educational video is the first in a series of oral history-based training materials that HHS will release over the next year. These educational products will reinforce the importance of the protections now in place for all who enroll as study participants in clinical trials and other research studies.

This commemoration was organized by HHS' Office for Human Research Protections, which provides leadership on human research subject protections by supporting and strengthening the nation's system for protecting those who volunteer to participate in research that is conducted or supported by agencies of HHS.

Honorees at the commemorative event include members of the National Commission as well as staff and consultants, who are listed below with their commission title followed by their most recent professional activity:

Duane Alexander, M.D., Staff -- Director, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md.
Tom L. Beauchamp, Ph.D., Staff -- Professor of Philosophy and Senior Research Scholar, Kennedy Institute of Ethics, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.
Joseph V. Brady, Ph.D., Commissioner -- Professor of Neuroscience and Director of the Behavioral Biology Research Center, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md.
James F. Childress, Ph.D., Consultant -- John Allen Hollingsworth Professor of Ethics & Medical Education, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Va.
Robert E. Cooke, M.D., Commissioner -- President (ret.), Medical College of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pa.
F. William Dommel, Jr., J.D., National Institutes of Health (ret.) Liaison to the Commission, Bethesda, Md.
Norman Fost, M.D., Consultant -- Professor, Pediatrics and History of Medicine, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wis.
Dorothy I. Height, Ph.D., Commissioner -- Chair and President Emeritus, National Council of Negro Women, Washington, D.C.
Albert R. Jonsen, Ph.D., Commissioner -- Professor Emeritus of Medical History & Ethics, University of Washington, Seattle, Wash.
Miriam Kelty, Ph.D., Staff -- Associate Director, National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md.
Patricia King, J.D., Commissioner -- Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Law, Medicine, Ethics, and Public Policy, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.
Karen Lebacqz, Ph.D., Commissioner -- Robert Gordon Sproul Professor of Theological Ethics, Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley, Calif.
Bernice M. Lee, B.A., Staff -- Associate Director, Good Clinical Practices Program, Food and Drug Administration, Rockville, Md.
Robert J. Levine, M.D., Consultant -- Professor of Internal Medicine and Director of Law, Policy and Ethics, AIDS Research Center, Yale University, New Haven, Conn.
Charles R. McCarthy, Ph.D., National Institutes of Health Liaison to the Commission -- Director of Compliance Oversight and Education, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Va.
Barbara F. Mishkin, J.D., Staff -- Attorney, Hogan & Hartson, LLP, Washington, D.C.
Paul Rogers, U.S. Representative (ret.) -- Attorney, Hogan & Hartson, LLP, Washington, D.C.
Donald W. Seldin, M.D., Commissioner -- Professor of Internal Medicine, University of Texas Southwestern, Dallas, Texas
Elizabeth Singer, B.A., Staff -- Director/OCPL, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md.
Stephen Toulmin, Ph.D., Consultant -- Professor of Anthropology (ret.), University of Southern California, Los Angeles, Calif.
R. Anne Thomas, B.A., Staff -- Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York City, N.Y.
LeRoy B. Walters, Ph.D., Staff -- Joseph P. Kennedy Professor of Christian Ethics, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.
Michael Yesley, J.D., Staff -- Attorney (ret.), Los Alamos National Laboratory, Santa Fe, N.M.

Four of the Commissioners are deceased:

Kenneth J. Ryan, M.D., Commission Chair -- Chief of Staff, Boston Hospital for Women, Boston, Mass. (Dr. Ryan's family will accept this honor in his name.)
David W. Louisell, J.D., Commissioner -- Professor of Law, University of California, Berkeley, Calif.
Eliot Stellar, Ph.D., Commissioner - Provost of the University and Professor of Physiological Psychology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pa.
Robert H. Turtle, LL.B., Commissioner -- Attorney, VomBaur, Coburn, Simmons & Turtle, Washington, D.C.


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Last Revised: November 16, 2004

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