June 7, 2012
ATLANTA – Georgia State University College of Law Professor Leslie Wolf and Brett Williams, JD ’12, recently presented at Harvard Law School. The two attended the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechology, and Bioethics’ conference entitled "The Future of Human Subjects Research Regulations." The conference brought together scholars from around the country to discuss the regulation of human subjects research in light of the US Department of Health and Human Services 2011 Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) which proposes to substantively amend the federal human subjects research regulations, as well as reports from the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues.
Wolf and Williams presented a paper examining the disconnect between the ANPRM proposals to require general, broad consent to human biospecimens and requirements to obtain a Certificate of Confidentiality, a legal tool to protect identifiable research data from compelled disclosure as part of a panel discussing human subjects issues on Tissues, Specimens, Data and Privacy. "Ironically, the ANPRM proposals which intend to increase protections with respect to biospecimens may decrease protections, by making it harder to use some tools like Certificates," Wolf said.
The paper, for which Williams took primary responsibility, was inspired by an interview in an empirical study Wolf is conducting with colleagues at Duke and on which Williams served as a research assistant. "I enjoyed putting my work on Certificates in a broader research ethics context," Williams said. "Having the chance to present the work in Cambridge was a truly wonderful way to cap off my law school career."
Stacie P. Kershner, JD
Associate Director, Center for Law, Health & Society