Knesset Science and Technology Committee chairwoman MK Ronit Tirosh lambasted
the Health Ministry on Wednesday for failing to speed up the preparation of a
bill for the regulation of medical experimentation on humans, which has been
waiting in the wings for a long period.
“It cannot be that modernization
influences our lives so fast, while legislation is delayed and in the end will
be irrelevant,” the MK said.
The committee had heard details of the 2011
report on human experimentation showing that the number of requests for clinical
trials has been increasing. Not only are patients participating in such trials,
but tissues removed from patients undergo testing.
approves clinical trials after a stringent ethical examination,” the committee
was told. Tirosh warned that much care must be taken regarding cloning in
Prof. Zvi Borochovich, chairman of the Supreme Committee for
Human Medical Experimentation, said: “Israel is at the forefront of work in the
field of stem cells. The Helsinki Committee on Human Medical Experimentation
changes from time to time and expands the rules, and everything is done
according to the basic principles of human dignity and professional ethics. The
studies have to pass many approvals after that it is ascertained that the study
can in fact be carried out and that it could bring real benefits.”
report noted that a draft for requesting the establishment of tissue samples for
genetic research has already been prepared. Using existing technologies, nerve
cells and tissues can be developed from a small sample of skin, saliva and even
from a blood sample. These cells could be transplanted without rejection into
the patient’s body to treat disease, it added.
“One must be careful and
make sure that the patients in the trial understand the implications of the
research into his tissue and [that] he agrees to be informed about certain
diseases or other things of which he was unaware,” Borochovich
Tirosh congratulated the Supreme Committee on its work and said
there is a rise in the number of applications for clinical trials. “This is all
due to technological advances and researchers who want to improve medicine and
knowledge. I view positively the insistence of the committee to be careful about
genetic experimentation and cloning,” she said.
There is a need to
simplify the consent letter that is signed by those involved in clinical studies
so it will be written in simple and clear language, Tirosh concluded.
response was obtained from the Health Ministry on Tirosh’s complaints.