The Role of Intuition in Risk/Benefit Decision-Making in Human Subjects Research

TitleThe Role of Intuition in Risk/Benefit Decision-Making in Human Subjects Research
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsResnik, DB
JournalAccountability in Research: Policies & Quality Assurance
Pagination1 - 29
Date Published2017/01//
Publication Languageeng
ISBN Number08989621
KeywordsBenefits , DECISION , Human , Institutional , INTUITION , PROBABILITY , reasoning , risks
AbstractOne of the key principles of ethical research involving human subjects is that the risks of research to should be acceptable in relation to expected benefits. Institutional review board (IRB) members often rely on intuition to make risk/benefit decisions concerning proposed human studies. Some have objected to using intuition to make these decisions because intuition is unreliable and biased and lacks transparency. In this article, I examine the role of intuition in IRB risk/benefit decision-making and argue that there are practical and philosophical limits to our ability to reduce our reliance on intuition in this process. The fact that IRB risk/benefit decision-making involves intuition need not imply that it is hopelessly subjective or biased, however, since there are strategies that IRBs can employ to improve their decisions, such as using empirical data to estimate the probability of potential harms and benefits, developing classification systems to guide the evaluation of harms and benefits, and engaging in moral reasoning concerning the acceptability of risks.
NotesAccession Number: 118709435; Resnik, David B. 1; Affiliations: 1: National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA; Issue Info: 2017, Vol. 24 Issue 1, p1; Thesaurus Term: DECISION making; Thesaurus Term: PROBABILITY theory; Subject Term: INTUITION (Psychology); Subject Term: HUMAN experimentation; Subject Term: INSTITUTIONAL review boards (Medicine); Author-Supplied Keyword: Benefits; Author-Supplied Keyword: human subjects research; Author-Supplied Keyword: institutional review boards; Author-Supplied Keyword: intuition; Author-Supplied Keyword: reasoning; Author-Supplied Keyword: risks; Number of Pages: 29p; Document Type: Article
Short TitleAccountability in Research: Policies & Quality Assurance