The National Bioethics Advisory Commission: Contributing to Public Policy

The National Bioethics Advisory Commission: Contributing to Public Policy

The National Bioethics Advisory Commission: Contributing to Public Policy

The National Bioethics Advisory Commission: Contributing to Public Policy

Excerpt

The National Bioethics Advisory Commission (NBAC) was established by Executive Order 12975 in October 1995 to advise the National Science and Technology Council and other appropriate government entities regarding “bioethical issues arising from research on human biology and behavior.” NBAC was established in response to proposals by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Department of Energy, and other research-oriented agencies; recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments (ACHRE); and a recognized need by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) for a national commission to address a broad set of ethical issues, including genetic privacy and the protection of human research subjects. NBAC met for the first time on October 4, 1996. On October 3, 2001, the commission's charter expired, and NBAC's tenure ended. Over that five-year period, NBAC met 48 times and submitted six major reports to the White House. NBAC's six reports covered topics ranging from cloning human beings and stem cell research to research with human biological materials and the protection of human participants in research.

As part of an Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) agreement between RAND and NBAC, the author of this report tracked the response to the six NBAC reports and the recommendations they contained from March 2000 until October 2001 when NBAC's charter expired. This study was conducted in an effort to assess NBAC's contribution to the policymaking process as it relates to various bioethical and scientific issues. This report describes these documents and provides a detailed account of the response to each of NBAC's six reports by the White House, Congress, federal and state governments . . .

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