U should adopt federal standards

Daily Editorial Board

The United States Department of Health and Human Services and more than a dozen other federal agencies have proposed a series of reforms to national research standards. Among other changes, there would be reforms to consent requirements for human trial subjects. 
 
Currently, the propositions are in a 90-day comment period, but if they pass, they would affect the University of Minnesota and any other institution that receives federal funding. Although these institutions would not have to adopt the updated standards, they would likely lose federal funding if they did not.
 
Linnea Anderson, the chief of staff for the University’s Human Research Protection Program, told the Minnesota Daily that the University is not yet ready to comment on what the changes may mean for the school. She added that University officials have not decided whether they would embrace the changes. 
 
Last year, the University came under heavy scrutiny due to alleged ethical lapses surrounding the 2004 suicide of Dan Markingson, a participant in a human subject research study. Following the controversy, the University unveiled substantial reforms to its review and consent procedures. 
 
The University is a world-class research institution, and we would like it to remain one. If the federal government updates its research standards, we urge school officials to comply with the changes. Failure to do so would be doubly disastrous. Not only would the University lose its federal funding — it would also look like it had learned nothing from its recent human trial scandals.