This introductory chapter discusses the theme of this volume which is about the role of institutional review boards (IRBs) in designing the U.S. government rules for the treatment of human subjects in research after World War II and the present-day consequences of their choice to adopt review procedures rather than ethics principles. This volume is divided into two main sections. The first section offers an analysis of actual IRB meetings and the second explains how the moral authority to decide how to treat research participants was relocated from professions to the state and reinvested in procedures rather than ethics principles.
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