The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly

Volume 11, Issue 2, Summer 2011

Stephen Napier
Pages 257-266

Catholic Hospitals, Institutional Review Boards and Cooperation

This paper addresses a certain lacuna in moral theological reflec­tion. An institutional review board (IRB) reviews research on human subjects and so represents the institution’s ethical review mechanism for research. The author argues that if an IRB approves a research project that is immoral, it thereby implicates the institution in formal cooperation. The author also argues that numerous ethical concerns are created by current research enterprises—concerns that extend beyond the “usual suspects” of embryonic stem cell research and research using cell lines of illicit origin. The author describes these more subtle issues and shows how IRBs at Catholic hospitals can navigate them. National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 11.2 (Summer 2011): 257–266.