Questions in Parliament October 2010

Phil Parker Lightning Process

Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations he has received on the research and development of the Phil Parker Lightning Process. [15725]

Paul Burstow: The Department has received representations, from individual members of the public and on behalf of chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomylitis stakeholder groups, on research proposals associated with the Lightning Process. 11th October 2010

Earl Howe’s response re: SMILE 29.10.2010

“Research ethics committees’ decisions are expected to be impartial and independent of ministerial and other influences. The Government do not interfere with their deliberations, either while they are in progress or by reviewing the outcome. The practice of research ethics committees is subject to training, accreditation and other quality assurance by the arm’s-length National Research Ethics Service to ensure the competence and consistency of their decision-making.
It would be unethical if scientists did not seek to determine the safety and efficacy of treatments and care for all intended beneficiaries, male and female, young and old. When considering whether the particular sample of people proposed as research participants is appropriate, research ethics committees have regard to the established ethical principles reflected in the medicines for Human Use (Clinical Trials) Regulations 2004, international and professional codes of practice and guidelines from funding bodies such as the Medical Research Council (MRC), although the research project in question is neither a drug trial nor funded by the MRC.”

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