China recently released a trail guideline on the review of science and technology ethics.
The document, jointly released by ten government bodies, including the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), the Ministry of Education, and the National Health Commission, will come into effect on Dec 1, 2023.
With a total of 56 articles, the document is expected to lay an institutional basis for relevant authorities and innovation entities to conduct ethical reviews.
Researchers conduct biospecimen medical research in a lab.
According to the document, R&D activities involving human participants, including tests, surveys and observations with human beings as research subjects, as well as activities using human biological samples and personal information data, are subject to ethical reviews in accordance with the guideline. This also applies to R&D activities involving experimental animals. For activities that are not directly related to human participants or experimental animals, but may pose ethical risks or challenges to life and health, the ecological environment, and public order, among others, reviews are required as well.
For entities engaged in life sciences, medical science, artificial intelligence, and other R&D activities that involve ethically sensitive issues, an ethical review committee shall be established. And international cooperative R&D activities that are subject to ethical reviews should pass the required reviews of all parties.
A list will be established for emerging R&D activities that may elicit higher ethical risks or challenges, and expert review procedures shall be initiated accordingly.
The list will be dynamically adjusted as per needs and then released by the MOST.
Source: Science and Technology Daily