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IRB Policies

Cabrini's IRB adheres to the following policies.

Creation of and Changes to Policies: A majority vote of the attendees at a meeting where a quorum is present is required to create or alter any policy of the IRB.  (approved 5/1/2019)

Student Researchers: Research projects including student investigators must have a faculty member as PI.  Students may serve as co-PI. (approved 5/1/2019)

Waiving or Altering Parental Consent:  
SOURCE:  hhs.gov/ohrp/regulations-and-policy/guidance/faq/informed-consent/index.html 

The conditions under which an IRB may waive the requirement for obtaining informed consent or parental permission or may approve a consent procedure that leaves out or alters some or all of the elements of informed consent derive from four sources in the HHS regulations. 

  1. At 45 CFR 46.116(c), the regulations identify when IRBs may waive or approve an alteration of informed consent in some research examining state or local public benefit or service programs, or certain features of those programs. 
  2. At 45 CFR 46.116(d) the regulations identify when IRBs may waive or approve an alteration of informed consent in research that meets four specified criteria
  3. At 45 CFR 46.408(c), the regulations identify when IRBs may approve waiver of parental permission in certain research involving children. 
  4. Under the provisions of 45 CFR 46.101(i), the Secretary, HHS, has waived the general requirements for obtaining informed consent in a limited class of research in emergency settings

1. WAIVER OF CONSENT Under 45 CFR 46.116(c), an IRB may waive the requirement for obtaining informed consent or parental permission or approve a consent or parental permission procedure that leaves out or alters some or all of the elements of informed consent, provided that the IRB finds and documents that the following two criteria are satisfied: 

  1. the research or demonstration project is to be conducted by or subject to the approval of state or local government officials and is designed to study, evaluate, or otherwise examine:
    • public benefit or service programs; 
    • procedures for obtaining benefits or services under those programs; 
    • possible changes in or alternatives to those programs or procedures; or
    • possible changes in methods or levels of payment for benefits or services under those programs; 45 CFR 46.116(c)(1).
  2. Note that this criterion means that only public benefit or service program research activities that are under state or local authority meet this criterion; similar research conducted under federal authority would not qualify here and is treated elsewhere in the regulations. Research conducted by or subject to the approval of only a private entity also would not qualify. 
  3. the research could not practicably be carried out without the waiver or alteration (45 CFR 46.116(c)(2)). 
  4. This criterion means that the practical circumstances of the research are such that the research is not feasible if the informed consent of the subjects must be obtained. For example, a study of identifiable private information about program benefit recipients using 20-year-old records might meet this criterion, if current contact information for those recipients is not available.

2.  WAIVER OF CONSENT What are the criteria under 45 CFR 46.116(d) for waiving or altering some or all of the required elements of informed consent or parental permission? 

Under 45 CFR 46.116(d) the IRB may waive the requirement for obtaining informed consent or approve a consent procedure that leaves out or alters some or all of the elements of informed consent, provided that the IRB finds and documents that all of the following four criteria are met: 

  1. the research involves no more than minimal risk to the subjects; 
  2. the waiver or alteration will not adversely affect the rights and welfare of the subjects; 
  3. the research could not practicably be carried out without the waiver or alteration; and, 
  4. whenever appropriate, the subjects will be provided with additional pertinent information after participation. 

3. WAIVER OF CONSENT  45 CFR 46.408(c) 

(c) In addition to the provisions for waiver contained in §46.116 of Subpart A, if the IRB determines that a research protocol is designed for conditions or for a subject population for which parental or guardian permission is not a reasonable requirement to protect the subjects (for example, neglected or abused children), it may waive the consent requirements in Subpart A of this part and paragraph (b) of this section, provided an appropriate mechanism for protecting the children who will participate as subjects in the research is substituted, and provided further that the waiver is not inconsistent with Federal, state or local law. The choice of an appropriate mechanism would depend upon the nature and purpose of the activities described in the protocol, the risk and anticipated benefit to the research subjects, and their age, maturity, status, and condition. 

CONSENT CANNOT BE WAIVED BUT CAN BE ALTERED WHEN: 

When may the requirement for documentation of informed consent or parental permission be waived or altered? 

When an Institutional Review Board (IRB) has not waived the requirement for seeking prospective informed consent of the subjects or the parental permission of children who are subjects, under the HHS regulations at 45 CFR 46.117(c), it may waive the requirement for the investigator to obtain a signed consent form for some or all subjects if it finds either: 

  1. That the only record linking the subject and the research would be the consent document and the principal risk would be potential harm resulting from a breach of confidentiality. Each subject will be asked whether the subject wants documentation linking the subject with the research and the subject’s wishes will govern; or 
  2. That the research presents no more than minimal risk of harm to subjects and involves no procedures for which written consent is normally required outside of the research context (e.g., drawing a blood sample, or asking shoppers in a mall about the ambient lighting or temperature). 

Some subjects might refuse a copy of the consent form once signed out of concern that their possession of the form could compromise their privacy. This is fully consistent with the idea behind one of the bases for a waiver of the requirements for documentation of informed consent - that harm would result to the subject if his/her identity were compromised by the documentation itself. The investigator may document that the subject refused a copy of the informed consent document and still include the subject in the study. 

In cases in which the documentation requirement is waived, the IRB may require the investigator to provide subjects or the parents of children who are subjects with a written statement regarding the research. 

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