Review of the U.S. Army's Use of Volunteers in Research Experiments

HRD-85-17: Published: Nov 6, 1984. Publicly Released: Dec 7, 1984.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO discussed the Army's practice of using volunteer servicemen in its research experiments to determine whether the volunteers are fully informed of the nature of the experiments.

GAO found that volunteers used in these research experiments are selected from civilian and military groups. Proposed experiments are reviewed by committees to ensure that the volunteers are protected and that procedures for obtaining fully informed consent have been initiated. GAO concluded that the explanations given to the volunteers concerning the experiments met the basic elements of informed consent requirements, including identification of any substances the volunteers would receive.

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