About student research and blanket consent from patients
My first organised experience of learning about the working of ethics committees in India, and my interaction with some individuals who had served or were serving on them, was around 1998. I had just started research to formulate ethical guidelines for social science research in health for a national committee appointed for the purpose at the Centre for Enquiry into Health and Allied Themes, Mumbai. In the course of this work we were confronted with the issue of ethical norms for student research and the need for ethics review of their research protocols. Most of those I met told me that their ethics committees never looked at student research proposals. A few years after the guidelines were published I started serving on ethics committees, and noticed that student research was not brought for ethics review. The justifications for this practice turned out to be the same that I had heard from members earlier.
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