Welcome to Balanced Ethics Review.

This site is intended for the Institutional Review Board member who wants to learn more about how to conduct review that balances your twin obligations—to protect the rights and welfare of research subjects, and to permit research to proceed.

This tension—between our duty to protect research subjects and our need for research that will benefit our health—is the reason IRBs exist. Since the system’s founding, however, its operations have become unbalanced, with IRBs struggling to avoid even the appearance of minor risks.

My manual, Balanced Ethics Review: A Guide for Institutional Review Board Members, discusses how you can fulfill your duty to protect research subjcts without unduly burdening research.

Getting the Manual

Springer has reserved a limited number of complimentary e-copies for review by IRB chairs; if you are an IRB chair and would like one, just email me and ask for it, swhitney@bcm.edu.

If you just want to sample it, Amazon will let you review a full copy for a week.

Prices may vary. At one point, Amazon charged $60 for the electronic version, which Springer was selling for $40. It may pay to shop around! There are also used copies available.


Barnes and Noble (apparently not available in an e-version)


  1. Dr. Whitney, I just finished reading your book “Balanced Ethics Review”, and I must say, although I am not a member of the medical profession, I found it to be very interesting, and for the most part easy to follow and understand its purpose and objective. The delicate balance of “DO NO HARM” to the subjects while advancing the research for the benefit of society is remarkable and eloquently stated in today’s world of “haves and have nots”. As your patient, and as a community member, I recommend this reading especially to all the young medical professionals aspiring to serve all humanity (rich and poor). Its depth and abundance of references with the multitude of various examples and specific cases dealing with all aspects involving ethical/unethical behavior in the pursuit of achieving desired medical objectives while protecting the subjects, is and should be a great source, and the foundation of every Institutional Review Board Member, and frankly of every professional in the field of medicine. This Book together with the Hippocratic Oath should be placed in every medical facility, and in every doctor’s office for ready reference, and as a constant reminder.

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