National

158 ethics violations found in research by Japan's NCVC medical institute

JIJI

The National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center said Thursday it has found 158 cases of research that was conducted in violation of the country’s ethical standards.

The violations include the use of patients’ information without their consent, the NCVC said. There have been no reports of health damage linked to these cases that involved follow-up research, the institute said.

“We deeply apologize for the misconduct,” NCVC President Hisao Ogawa said at a news conference in Suita, where the institute is based.

One of the violations, in which research on cardiac diseases was conducted without ethics review committee approval, occurred in both fiscal 2013 and fiscal 2018, the NCVC said. The institute said it has requested that related research papers be withdrawn.

The NCVC said 156 additional cases have occurred since fiscal 2013, in which treatment data was utilized without being shown to patients.

The institute did not post information on its website about the patients’ right to refuse to provide their treatment data. It said some of its researchers wrongly thought that such information would be posted by its clerical workers.

The NCVC said it has explained the misconduct to affected patients and apologized to them. The institute said it will consider punishment for officials involved after a panel of third-party experts investigates the details.