PART VI. THE NEXT SIX MONTHS
A. WORK TO BE DONE
In the next six months, the Committee will continue with the
tasks of data gathering and organization. The focus of the
Committee's work, however, will shift to developing (1) the
ethics criteria for evaluating historical and contemporary
experiments, policies, and procedures, and (2) the criteria for
determining appropriate Federal responses where wrongs or harms
have occurred. Based on what the Committee has learned about
both past and present experiments, the Committee then will make
specific recommendations regarding policies for the future.
1. Continuation of Present Tasks
o Continuing Phase I of the inquiry: identifying
experiments and mapping the world in which they were
o Implementing Phase II of the inquiry: focus on
specific experiments and their context (1944-1974).
o Implementing the three projects designed to gather data
about the current state of human radiation research.
o Continuing the agency search process.
o Continuing other methods of inquiry, including
documentary search efforts from members of the public,
published literature, congressional materials,
universities, and collections of personal papers.
o Continuing to interview individuals connected with
particular experiments and Government programs, and
continuing with the oral history project.
o Continuing outreach efforts.
o Continuing to develop and make available public
2. Identification of Relevant Ethics Standards
Based on the work done in the investigation of research
policies and practices (and, as relevant, scientific and medical
standards and practices), the Committee will identify the
relevant ethics criteria for judging past and present
experiments. This will require discussion and analysis of issues
related to the appropriate standards and concepts by which
retrospective judgments about ethical issues are to be made,
including the selection of subjects of research, balancing of
risks and benefits, standards of informed consent, voluntariness
of participation, and prior review. This also will require
careful discussion of knotty questions about whether and how we
ought to judge the conduct of those who have preceded us.
3. Considerations and Criteria for a Range of
The Committee will make recommendations on criteria for the
range of remedies that may be appropriate where wrongs or harms
have occurred. These criteria will be based on an analysis of
past experiments in light of the ethics standards adopted by the
Committee. The criteria also will reflect the Committee's
consideration of alternative forms of remedy, including responses
such as explicit governmental acknowledgement of the wrong done,
medical monitoring and followup, access to personal information,
compensation, or other potentially appropriate responses.
4. Recommendations on Policies for Future Research
Based on the understanding gained through investigating and
analyzing past and present practices and policies concerning
human radiation research and intentional releases, the Committee
will make specific recommendations on policies for future
B. TIMING OF FINAL REPORT
The Committee takes the year term in its Charter as a
serious indication of the Interagency Working Group's, and the
public's, interest in a timely final report. A substantial start-
up time has been required to assemble Committee staff, to chart
and master the vast quantities of Federal records, to develop
databases needed to manage this ocean of data, and to communicate
with the Committee's many constituencies. While the learning
curve has been steep, considerable efficiencies should now be
experienced. The Committee will seek to meet the April 1995
deadline. While an extension of several months may be required,
the Committee has no intention of seeking a significantly longer
Interim Report of the Advisory Committee on Human Radiation
Experiments, October 21, 1994