Those interested in a slightly more sanguine perspective on the role of IRBs (especially in the bio-medical setting) will find Jerry Menikoff's (Kansas, Medicine) recent paper helpful (forthcoming in a Northwestern L. Rev. symposium issue). An excerpted abstract follows:
"... Admittedly, the current system is imperfect and a variety of improvements can and should be made to eliminate those review requirements that do little to protect subjects. But even with these problems, getting IRB approval of social and behavioral research studies should in the great majority of cases be a relatively non-burdensome task that is a minimal hindrance to the conduct of the research. That burden should rarely if ever rise to the level of triggering constitutional protections against censorship."