KM Committee of International College
Nowadays, countries around the world, especially developed countries, have established human rights laws covering several aspects, including laws governing the conduct of research on humans or animals. Developed countries have also attempted to stipulate regulations and guidelines for research on human subjects and promote the adoption of these regulations/guidelines in developing countries, such as guidelines for the manufacturing of pharmaceuticals or patent applications. Prior to being accepted for publication or granted a patent or conducting a scientific research investigation involving human subjects, researchers are required to obtain ethical approval from a recognized ethics committee. Additionally, seminars and conferences have been conducted on the ethical principles or guidelines for research in human subjects in both developing and developed countries, the outcomes of which have been several declarations. The most essential element of these declarations is to protect the dignity, rights, safety, and well-being of human volunteers or research participants. Various institutions at national and international levels are aware of the ethical issues of research on human subjects. As a result, an ethics committee is appointed whose responsibility is to monitor that the research conducted within the institution adheres to the ethical principles established in the Declaration of Helsinki or other declarations.
In Thailand, the Ministry of Public Health, in cooperation with nine Faculties of Medicine, has organized a series of seminars at the Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University. This resulted in the establishment of the Forum for Ethical Review Committees in Thailand (FERCIT). The FERCIT aims to develop plans for promoting ethical research on human subjects. A Working Group was then appointed to draft ethical guidelines for research on human subjects, which are intended to serve as national guidelines. The national ethical guidelines were developed considering the ethical principles that have their origin in several international guidelines, such as the Declaration of Helsinki of the World Medical Association, the WHO Operational Guidelines for Ethics Committees that Review Biomedical Research, the Council for International Organizations of Medical Science (CIOMS), and the Canadian Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans, etc. The ethical guidelines have been published and distributed since 2002, and its English version was available in 2007.