Response to NHMRC consultation on National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research
The George Institute for Global Health made a submission to the review of the National Health and Medical Research Council’s (NHMRC) revisions to Chapters four and five of the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research.
The proposed changes in the NHMRC review recommend removing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as a priority population from section four of the statement.
The Institute’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Program Lead Keziah Bennett-Brook said: “There are clear processes that have been developed for research with and by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander researchers, human research ethics committees, representative bodies and communities. Their removal from the National Statement runs risk that these requirements will be completely overlooked”.
“While there are very legitimate concerns around linking vulnerability as inherent to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, completely removing the discussion about the systems and structures in which Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples experience vulnerability is very concerning”.
“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should not be framed as sick, disadvantaged and pathogenically vulnerable. However, it is still incredibly important that ethical considerations for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities are embedded within this National Statement”.
The George Institute awaits the outcome of the review.