Human Ethics Committee
The Forensic and Scientific Services Human Ethics Committee (FSS-HEC) is constituted and functions in accordance with the NHMRC National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research 2007 (NS). The FSS-HEC is responsible for review of:
- use of human samples submitted to FSS for testing
- use of data about human subjects held at FSS
- access to coronial autopsies, including retrieval of tissue, for purposes other then the coronial investigation
- review of FSS practices not related to research that raise ethical issues.
In conducting reviews, the HEC has regard to the requirements of the Queensland Health Research Ethics Governance Unit and the following procedures, legislation and standards:
- National Health and Medical Research Council: National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research
- Forensic and Scientific Services - Human Ethics Committee Functions and Terms of Reference (PDF, 77KB)
- The Australian Health Ministers Advisory Council: The National Code of Ethical Autopsy Practice
- Information sheet: research involving coronial material (PDF, 330KB)
- Access to Confidential Health Information
- Legislation (download from the Office of the Queensland Parliamentary Counsel):
- Coroners Act 2003
- Public Health Act 2005
- Transplantation and Anatomy Act 1979
The HEC meets 5 to 6 times per year depending on demand. Some issues considered low risk may be dealt with out of session by the Chair in consultation with relevant members.
Applications must be submitted using either the Queensland Health National Ethics Application Form (NEAF) or the Low and Negligible Risk Checklist and Application Form which can be accessed via the Australia Online Forms for Research website.
Fees may be levied to recover costs associated with the review and provision of other services for projects external to FSS (e.g. seeking consent).
Regular monitoring of approved projects, at least annually, is a NHMRC requirement. Reports must be submitted to the Secretary at the intervals specified in the HEC approval letter. The Project Report Form is available from the secretariat.