Explain, in detail, why the institutional Review Board (IRB) is important

The National Review Act established the Institutional Review Board on July 12TH 1974. This was done to overlook the biomedical and behavioral research involving human subjects. The Institutional Review Board has the mandate to protect the rights of recruits for research This protection is not limited to intact human beings; but also their other forms like embryos, tissues, and organs.

IRBs are assigned the onus of reviewing all research involving human participants before its commencement. It specializes in sheltering  the rights, wellbeing, and discretion of the human specimens. The board has the power to monitor, approve, disapprove,  and demand modifications in all research activities that fall within its dominion as set out by both the federal regulations and institutional policy (Bachmsn, Ruselle, 2020).  The board comprises of at least five varying parties; among them must be at least one person who is not a scientist and a party who is not affiliated by the institution. This board has its key roles in a society that is relentlessly looking for answers on the mysteries of nature and would go untold heights to quench their curiosity.

Institutional Review Boards ensure that ethical standards are met when dealing with human specimens. Unfortunately, this has not always been the case. Modern research ethical standards were first thought of in the Nuremberg Code, which was developed in response to the humorous deeds revealed in the Nuremberg military tribunal. The code insists that there must be voluntary consent from the human samples. It also determines the viability of the research according to its risk versus benefit ratio. Risks are calculated in terms of probability, while benefits are factual (Rababa’h,  Alzoubi, K.Ababneh, & Khabour,2020).

The board protects the safety and well being of human participants involved in the research. IRB could be mistaken for an overbearing body whose purpose is to inhibit free research but the truth is, it is put in place to protect the human research subjects from harmful research methods. Different research agencies have adopted different protocols for protecting their human guinea pigs. IRBs provide assurances to the federal government to protect the human research subjects from harm.

IRBs allay concerns by the general public about the responsible conduct of research. They educate the participants of their role in the study. The board makes sure that the patient participating in human research is fully informed of the study that will be done on them. He/ she is taken through the risks that may occur and the benefits that may be achieved  through the research. After gaining the patient’s full comprehension on the process, the IRB members give the patient a quiz that must be filled with coherence and consistency. Informed consent and approval to proceed with research is an ongoing process, and not a single sitting job.


Despite the frenzied information seeking that is going on especially in the medical field, IRBs can contain research within ethical limits. The board ensures that only ethical scientifically valid researches are carried out. It also educates subjects whose anatomy is to be studied about the nature of the research and the risks/ benefits involved. Subjects wellbeing and privacy is protected in accordance with the principles governing the IRB. To say the least, this body has not only played a big role in gaining the public’s trust with medical researchers but also encouraged more of them to volunteer in researches: a truce between the ethical researches and upheld human ethics.




Rababa’h, A. M., Alzoubi, K. H., Ababneh, M., & Khabour, O. F. (2020). Awareness of Jordanian Investigators About the Importance of Ethics Review Committees: A Pilot Study. Science and engineering ethics26(2), 821-831

Ronet D. Bachman, Rusell  K. Schutt, (2020) Importance of the IRB. The Practice of Research in Criminology and Criminal Justice 7th edition, P 402-403

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