Author(s): Martin Tolich & Barry Smith
The National Women’s Hospital research scandal saw women being involved in medical research without their knowledge and without the opportunity to make a choice about their participation. The 1988 Cartwright Inquiry into this decades-long study established a template for ethics review in New Zealand. Ethics committees were subsequently established to independently evaluate the potential benefits as well as the risks of research.
This book traces the gradual undermining of the independence of ethics review in New Zealand and the politicisation of ethics committees between 1988 and 2014. There have been substantial changes in this review process brought about by government in response to other medical crises such as that which occurred in Gisborne in the late 1990s and then an “economic crisis” between 2008 and 2010 that involved international pharmaceutical companies.
This book explores the implications of these changes for a robust ethics review process across research environments in New Zealand, especially those affecting Maori. It includes recommendations aimed at enhancing independent ethics review, best practice, and providing adequate protection for all citizens.