Scope and Content
Title: National Commission For The Protection Of Human Subjects Of Biomedical And Behavioral Research Collection,
Date (inclusive): 1974 -1978
Accession number: GTU 94-6-05
Shelf location: 2/D/4 - 2/E/1
Size: Number of containers: 11 boxes
Linear feet: 10 1/2
Type of material: Working files.
Graduate Theological Union.
Source and Date
Karen Lebacqz, 1994
Collection is open for research.
Copyright has not been assigned to The Graduate Theological Union. All requests for
permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the
Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Graduate Theological
Union as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply
permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.
[Identification of item], National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of
Biomedical and Behavioral Research Collection, GTU 94-6-05, The Graduate
Theological Union Archives, Berkeley, CA.
Human experimentation in medicine --Moral and ethical aspects
Medicine --Research --Moral and ethical aspects
Lebacqz, Karen, 1945-
The "National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and
Behavioral Research" (1974 -78) was established by Congress under the National Research
Act: Public Law 93-348, Title II, Part A (July 12, 1974). Dr. Karen Lebacqz, Professor of
Christian Ethics, Pacific School of Religion, was appointed as a member of the
Commission. The purpose of the Commission was "to (1) conduct a comprehensive
investigation and study to identify the basic ethical principles which should underlie
the conduct of biomedical and behavioral research involving human subjects, (2) develop
guidelines which should be followed in such research to assure that it is conducted in
accordance with such principles, and (3) make recommendations to the Secretary of Health,
Education, and Welfare for such administrative action as may be appropriate to apply such
guidelines . . . ." The duties of the Commission were to "include the following: (1)
identify the requirements for informed consent to participation by the institutionalized
mentally infirm; (2) consider the appropriateness of applying the principles and
guidelines identified and developed by the Commission to the delivery of health services
to patients under programs conducted or supported by the Secretary [of HEW]; consider the
mechanisms for evaluating and monitoring the performance of Institutional Review Boards .
. . [and] undertake a comprehensive study of the ethical, social and legal implications
of advances in biomedical and behavioral research and technology."
(Charterfor the Commission: Box 1, ff 1)
The Commission published reports on:
Research Involving the Fetus,
Research Involving Children,
Institutional Review Boards,
Research Involving Those Institutionalized as Mentally Infirm,
Research Involving Prisoners,
Psychosurgery, Disclosure of
Ethical Guidelines for the Delivery of Health
Services by DHEW,
The Special Study: A Comprehensive Study of the
Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications of Advances in Biomedical and Behavioral Research
("Bioethics Commissions: What Can We Learn from Their Successes
and Failures": Box 6, ff 6)
Scope and Content
The collection of working files collected by Dr. Lebacqz in her capacity as a member of
the Commission, came directly from the donor and was contained in one file cabinet and
several boxes. The cabinet contained the Commission's working files, materials which
culminated in the publication of reports on the various areas indicated in its charter.
The boxes contained 3-ring binders primarily for work on fetus research; also, copies of
the transcripts of Commission meetings. The collection has been kept in the donor's
original order using the donor's original broad subject headings. Not all of the final
published reports are included in the collection.