Standing Committee on Ethics (SCE) Meeting Highlights: December 3, 2015

Issues discussed at the SCE

  • Disruptive Technologies
    CIHR presented a scan of ethical issues and regulatory frameworks associated with disruptive technologies (DTs), including Dual Use Research of Concern (DURC). It was agreed that there are actions CIHR could undertake in the areas of funding, policy and education to mitigate the ethical risks of DTs. CIHR will present a prioritized action plan to the SCE.
  • Crowdfunding Research
    The SCE was presented with proposed actions that CIHR could undertake with respect to crowdfunding research. The SCE recognized the ethical complexities of crowdfunding and directed CIHR to develop strategic recommendations on the use of crowdfunding within CIHR's purview.
  • The Ethics of Patient Engagement
    The SCE was presented with a proposal to develop an ethics guidance document on patient engagement in research, to apply to situations where patients actively collaborate in the governance, priority setting and conduct of research, and in dissemination of research results. The SCE agreed that this is an important gap area in Canada, and that the proposed ethics guidance should address the engagement in research of informal caregivers, families and non-patient volunteers as well as patients. CIHR will develop ethics guidance on patient engagement in research.
  • Strategies for Inclusion of Ethics
    The SCE discussed CIHR's current and proposed activities aimed at further promoting the inclusion of ethics in research, within three broad categories: "Promotion of ethics research"; "Training and career development in ethics"; and "Education in ethics". CIHR will present a revised and updated list of plans to the SCE at the next meeting.
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