9 Feb 2012

Criticism of changes to ethics group

7:38 am on 9 February 2012

A group responsible for monitoring the ethics of medical experiments says people will be put at risk by planned changes to its role.

The Government plans to cut the number of Health and Disability Ethics Committees from seven to four and reduce the number on the committees.

Five committee members have signed a letter to the Minister of Health saying some medical experiments will have no ethical oversight at all if the changes go ahead.

But Health Minister Tony Ryall says he has heard evidence the process is slow, bureaucratic, and uncoordinated and he does not believe the changes will sacrifice safety.