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17 April 2011 @ 08:41 pm
Review of CITI training, specifically refresher modules  
I was able to find the modules for the refresher course, even though I could not enroll in the course. I figured this would be a good way to review the course and see how the refresher course will be after December (seeing that would be when I could enroll, even though I last took the basic course exactly two years ago). In addition to that, I went to optional modules that corresponded to Basic models that gave more information on some of the the Refresher material.

It’s sad and scary to think that there were some like Robert J. Levine who thought that "Until [Beecher’s] article, [they] assumed that unethical research could only occur in a depraved regime like the Nazis,” implying that maybe only the severely cruel events were seen as inhumane, rather than general research that may not be conducted well (History and Ethical Principles). It’s good to know that the Nuremburg Code and, based on that, Declaration of Helsinki, were created to prevent similar studies. Odd that for some reason, the US felt little effect from either paper.

Re-reading about the Tuskeegee Syphilis Study was slightly frustrating but re-reading about other crucial case studies only added to the disappointment. While I can somewhat understand the intention to learn, the studies were all horribly conducted. The Willowbrook Hepatitis Study not only withheld information about how severe Hepatitis can be for the children purposely affected but also mislead the parents into believing they had to enroll their children into this study, when such experiments should not be forced. Tea Room Trade Study invaded personal privacy by not only acting as a lookout to observe actual homosexual behavior but traced license plates back to the participants. Then, a survey was distributed to locations of those participants, which further violated their privacy. The Milgram Study has been re-iterated in numerous Psychology courses as a potentially stress-inducing experiment for subjects administering shocks to pretend students. It’s crazy to see how long it took the US to take measures into their hands and write the Belmont Report in 1979, after most of these scary studies. It’s good to see that the Belmont Report addressed Respect for the subjects, Beneficence, and Justice concerning future research. Sadly the deaths of gene transfer trial subject and bronchoscopy study subject shows that there’s still a lot to be considered, seeing these occurrences were in the late 1990s.

The quiz for the optional History and Ethical Principles module was very similar to the Refresher module for History and Ethics, with most of the questions being the same.

It was nice to review the regulatory process but I am sure when I have to get approval from an appropriate board, I will need to review the process again since there are specifics about what to address when asking for consent and such. Also, while I already knew about the privacy and confidentiality issue, it was nice to review that since there are specific ways to ensure these things, such as Certificates of Confidentiality from the National Health Institute. It’s also nice to see that under certain conditions, there are waivers for consent, if need be. The optional module for regulations is a lot more concise and seemed like better review than the refresher module for regulations. The quizzes for the two modules were not that similar at all but it was a good way to completely compare understanding.

While I knew prisoners were in a vulnerable category, in addition to pregnant women, fetuses and children, but I had forgotten about the numerous classes of vulnerable subjects. These classes make sense but it shows that it would be beneficial to take all of that into consideration and make sure recruitment addresses all of these concerns. For example, during the quiz for the optional module on vulnerable subjects overview, there was a question about a group of elderly men being approached for a colon cancer study. I did not pay attention to a small part of the description that mentioned how disability benefits were the main source of income for them, which would end up being an undue influence for the candidates. Since I had disregarded that part, I had thought it was just the lack of information provided in the description that would be a problem but clearly I should have paid more attention to how the vulnerable classes can be influenced and in what ways.

I wish it was easier to enroll in the refresher course, seeing it has been exactly two years since I took the basic course, but I thought it was personally beneficial to be able to research certain topics on my own through optional modules. It would have been nice if it was easier to go through certain sections in the refresher course through direct links to optional modules but overall the refresher course seemed sufficient enough. I definitely am glad that this was required for both Sociology and Statistics majors, since it really does seem like crucial information. Some of it seems like common sense but, as shown through my own errors in understanding when taking quizzes, certain things can be misunderstood or misrepresented and it’s good to make sure all grounds are covered.