The two-day workshop on “Institutional Ethics Committee” (IEC) and “Institutional Committee for Stem Cell Research and Therapy” (IC- SCRT) concluded on October 11, 2014 with a panel discussion by the faculty members of the workshop.
The interactive session witnessed question and answer round from participants and delegates. In the session questions pertaining to the role of CSR were discussed. Dilemmas like whether the subject should inform his/her family about his involvement in a clinical test were also discussed. To this, Dr. Geeta K. Vemuganti, Dean, School of Medical Sciences at UoH replied that it depends solely on the individuals whether they wish to inform their family or not.
The valedictory session of the workshop highlighted discrepancies in the working of the ethics committee in the country. According to Dr. Amar Jesani, consultant – researcher and teacher – in bioethics and public health, a drug which is not a new drug and is used for the purpose of research does not come under the purview of any law in India. A new bill is on the verge of being introduced for clinical purposes. He said that such incidents pose ethical concerns.
Dr. Jesani also addressed the need of going back to the community people who are involved in an investigation. It is pertinent to visit them back but with caution. He averred that the way of presenting the information is also important as the subjects might have to face stigma from the community.
Dr. Sauren Das who is a Clinical Research Professional talked about the public awareness programmes in the country. He said that the patient ought to be aware of the research that is being conducted on him/her. It is high time that the investigators should indulge in participative clinical research where the patient is equally aware of the process. According to Das, if this condition is met then the investigators will more concerned, involved and they will also be held accountable.
The panel discussion provided answers to various queries that had cropped up in the minds of the audiences.
Saumya Painuli, MA-Communication