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Implementing the district hospital recommendations for the National Health Service Research Ethics Service in England
  1. J Wisely1,
  2. J Lilleyman2
  1. 1Central Office for Research Ethics Committees (COREC), National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA), London, UK
  2. 2National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA), London, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
 J Wisely
 Central Office for Research Ethics Committees (COREC), National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA), London W2 6LG, UK; janet.wisely{at}

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Science and Ethics inextricably intertwined

Dawson and Yentis argue that research ethics committees (RECs) have an obligation to consider the science of applications because this is inextricably entwined with ethics. They lament the fact that the recent English ministerial review of RECs suggests that science should be assessed by others for RECs and not by the committee members themselves. In fact, these views are not as incompatible as they might first appear.

The plain truth of the matter is that in a maximum membership of 18, at least a third of whom must be lay members, the capacity of each of the 186 RECs currently in the UK to review …

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  • Competing interests: None declared.