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David Tuller: Trial By Error: How to Avoid Ethical Review

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS News' started by Kalliope, Nov 12, 2018.

  1. Kalliope

    Kalliope Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    How to avoid ethical review

    I have written many posts about BMJ Open’s 2011 school absence study,
    which reported that school absence records could be useful in identifying children with chronic fatigue syndrome. However, for reasons not yet adequately explained, the investigators exempted the study from ethical review on the grounds that it qualified as “service evaluation.” To support the claim, they cited a 2007 letter from the regional research ethics committee (REC), which was unrelated to the study in question.
     
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  2. Joel

    Joel Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Good bit of work that.
     
  3. Daisybell

    Daisybell Moderator Staff Member

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  4. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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  5. Peter Trewhitt

    Peter Trewhitt Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    The final article in @dave30th 's list of the eleven studies currently suspected of inappropriately avoiding the ethical approval process was submitted for publication in March of this year and actually published less than four weeks ago.

    I am not reliable with dates or time, but this is surely well after David's first blogging on this issue. So the Bristol group has continued publishing even after they have had this issue pointed out to them.

    Perhaps not surprising of Professor Crawley, but reinforcing the idea that this research malpractice is so endemic that it being pointed out does not even cause the flutter of an eyelid.

    Not only does the University of Bristol [and the BMJ etc] have serious questions to answer, but the various NHS Trusts and Education Authorities involved surely should be investigating how this happened and whether this research team should be allowed any further access to their patients or pupils until a full enquiry has been undertaken. Are potential participants in MAGENTA, FITNET, etc being warned of the research misconduct this team has be[en] involved with?
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2018
  6. Peter Trewhitt

    Peter Trewhitt Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    We have come to expect this research misconduct from the BPS cult members, and I had assumed a contributory factor is the fundamental disrespect they seem to have for people with ME both in relation to their theories and in practice, however is it more wide spread than this?

    Increasingly we are aware with such as Brian Hughes' book 'Psychology in Crisis' that these methodological difficulties are not confined to work on ME, and the rapid growth in MUS research and training is so obviously ideologically driven. Is this reflective of a much larger crisis in medical research in general and in psychological medicine research and practice in particular?
     
  7. Sly Saint

    Sly Saint Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I emailed the HRA on this issue last year (Sept 2017):
    I got a fob off from them:
    I did write back to clarify but got no further reply.

    hope @dave30th has more luck
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2018
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  8. Amw66

    Amw66 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Is this worthwhile highlighting to the new organisation at Bristol re research standards?
     
  9. NelliePledge

    NelliePledge Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Who are the REC accountable to for the quality of their independent decision making? Seems like a good topic for the House of Commons Science Committee to investigate.
     
  10. chrisb

    chrisb Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Has it become clear what the REC knew, and when they knew it? Is it credible that they were wholly unaware of the practice? Does this practice have their tacit approval?
     
  11. NelliePledge

    NelliePledge Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Ah good point I had assumed that there would have to be a nod from some person from the REC each time to say yes you can go ahead with this one without go8ng through the process. If the researchers simply decide for themselves it doesn’t need approval and there is no policing then it is obvious to anyone that the process is not satisfactory in terms of compliance. What’s the point of a process with a loophole that big. Well I suppose if researchers reviewers and publishers all behaved within the spirit of the ethics rules it would be ok. In this case the researchers have turned that loophole into a pipeline to pump their crap out of.
     
  12. Suffolkres

    Suffolkres Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    This is a little off topic but related! It follows discussion on S4ME as Parliament say, "in another place...".

    I uncovered some interesting info whilst looking up the RCP /RSM stuff to do with the event I attended at the RSM last year.
    Additionally, I think MEA and Charles have used RSM and their Awards Ramsey prize in the past? I think I went to the Abhjit Chaudrai one..?
    So RSM President incumbent aside... we don't want to throw the baby out with the bath water.....? It's not all bad.....

    (Prizes and awards a complete list of awards and prizes open to both RSM student members and non-members unless otherwise specified.)
    Also, recent, they make available lectures on line. Please note that from 1 October 2018 all RSM videos will be free to view and no longer have CPD credits.

    "Developing a clinical research agenda based on routinely-collected WGS data " " Free"
    Professor Ajit Lalvani looks at the research agenda and implementation of whole genome sequencing, based on routinely collected data.

    https://videos.rsm.ac.uk/video/deve...-agenda-based-on-routinely-collected-wgs-data
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2018
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  13. Daisymay

    Daisymay Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Absolutely and funding bodies should be questioning continuing to fund these researchers until this is independently investigated.
     
  14. rvallee

    rvallee Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    This seems like a very serious scandal in development. One that affects the whole of UK medical research.

    How common is it to arbitrarily exclude research from ethical review with such blatant handwaving? Because if it can happen so brazenly nearly a dozen times even through repeated warnings, then it can happen every time.

    And when you add up broader issues with conflicts of interest and bias, the reputation of UK medicine will take a severe hit once people understand what is happening. How much of a gold standard can Cochrane remain once it is understood they approve of small unblinded trials with self-reported outcomes as solid evidence? Or that the BMJ is fine with publishing research without ethical review?

    To what end? What is it that they think is being gained here? Don't these people realize that in corrupting the process of science in medicine they will hurt themselves, their families and friends in the long run?
     
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  15. Peter Trewhitt

    Peter Trewhitt Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Is this this something we should be investigating here at present or do we let @dave30th run with it and see what happens?

    I had meant to start looking at the other projects that rely on the same supposed 'ethical approval waiver' as the School Absence study, but am in danger of pushing myself too much at present so need to start cutting back again. The lists of what I want or need to do is growing unhelpfully at present.

    Ideally it would be something the British press should be taking up, but I am not optimistic about that happening. In political terms the most relevant people have already been copied into David's letter. Should we as individuals be asking the UK ME charities to get involved?

    Should we individually or collectively be asking the relevant Health Trusts/Authorities, Education Authorities and funding bodies for comment?
     
  16. Sbag

    Sbag Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    As they used the one letter in multiple cases maybe we should send letters about each of the research cases it was used in. Ask the specific question as to why a letter from another case was used to exempt the research in each case.
    They should have to answer the questions and it would mean creating a wider issue which might get more publicity.
    If they don't answer then it would show what a cover-up the whole thing is. Win win for us :)
     
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