Ethical Challenges of Disaster Research

SSS’ Steve Ramsey and Rich Rosselli are coauthors of an article in Environmental Health Perspectives about a National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Best Practices Working Group that was formed to identify and address ethical and regulatory challenges associated with the Institutional Review Board (IRB) review of disaster research. The major themes from their discussions were presented as recommendations on IRB disaster preparedness activities, informed consent, vulnerable populations, confidentiality, participant burden, disaster research response integration and training, IRB roles/responsibilities, community engagement, and dissemination of disaster research results. The article was coauthored by researchers from NIEHS, Johns Hopkins University, University of Vermont, and Children’s National Medical Center.