The Pan American Bioethics Initiative (PABI) is the name of the UM Ethics Programs grant from the Fogarty International Center of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (grant number 1R25TW008186). The project began in 2008. Principal Investigators are Drs. Kenneth W. Goodman and Paul Braunschweiger; Dr. Sergio Litewka is the Project Director. The grant is one of a suite of Fogarty International Research Ethics Education And Curriculum Development Awards.
The PABI name was actually established in 1993 as a mechanism to coordinate UM Ethics Programs’ efforts in Latin America and the Caribbean. In the nearly two decades since, the Ethics Programs have collaborated with institutions in Latin American and the Caribbean on projects in human research subjects’ protection, the responsible conduct of research (RCR) and issues in health policy and human rights. PABI is a component of the Ethics Programs’ International Program.
The PABI grant aims to challenge and enable Fellows from Latin American and Caribbean research organizations to foster clinical research integrity and responsible conduct of research at their institutions. Fellows are decision makers and policy architects who have practical responsibilities for the development and/or oversight of research ethics programs at their respective institutions.
The PABI approach is to build research integrity and research ethics capacity in Latin America and the Caribbean. It emphasizes a “top-down” approach in which decision makers involved in research ethics regulations and policy development are challenged to develop a robust ethics program. The expectation is that by agreeing to participate in PABI, the Fellows will use the collective expertise and resources of the University of Miami and its partners to develop robust research ethic programs.
A collegial relationship between PABI Developers and Faculty maximizes networking and mentoring opportunities for Fellows. In addition to seminars and in-country capacity building workshops, the CITI Program is provided as a tool for bioethics education for faculty, staff and students at participating organizations. The CITI Program offers Web-based education in human subject protection, good clinical practice (GCP), lab animal welfare and research integrity to more than 825 institutions in the U.S. and around the world.
The CITI Program has been implemented around the Hemisphere. It has Spanish and Portuguese libraries of nearly 60 modules.
The overarching goal of this project is to stimulate institutional efforts to foster human subjects protection, research integrity and the responsible conduct of research by challenging and working with decision leaders and policy architects who have practical responsibility for the development and/or oversight of research ethics programs in Latin American and the Caribbean.
Activities by Country
PABI Faculty provide expert presentations at annual meetings and workshops. In addition, non-U.S. Faculty will provide their perspectives on their respective countries’ needs and their experiences regarding the implementation of bioethics programs at their institutions. Faculty members help PABI leadership assess the success of the Fellows as they progress to meet the challenge of implementing or enhancing their programs. Faculty members also are intended to provide practical guidance as mentors to Fellows.
The PABI Fellows design and implement bioethics programs for investigators conducting biomedical and behavioral research at their organizations. With the support of the PABI faculty, the Fellows and colleagues at their institution will develop local content modules describing country-specific regulations for conducting human subjects research, privacy and confidentiality and genetics research. Together with PABI program directors and faculty, the Fellows organize on-site PABI workshops. The Fellows attend the PABI meetings, provide progress reports and evaluate the new bioethics programs created under their leadership.
External Advisory Board
The External Advisory Board (EAB) assesses the program and advises PABI leadership regarding the strategies and approaches used to meet the specific aims of the project. The EAB is consulted for advice and counsel when difficult problems arise during the project. For example, a Fellow may fail to make significant progress toward the implementation of a bioethics program or to enhance an existing program. The EAB could intervene either to help the Fellow make progress or by finding another person to fill the Fellow’s role. Another way in which the EAB helps is by critiquing new, untested strategies before they are implemented. Thus, important decisions regarding the conduct of the project will be made with advice gleaned from the EAB. Dr.Fernando Lolas of the University of Chile chairs the EAB.
Following is a list of UM Ethics Programs’ activities not sponsored by the PABI.
February 25, 2013, San Salvador, El Salvador | Primer Congreso Iberoamericano de Ética de la Investigación en Salud, Presentation, Dr. Sergio Litewka, “Los Comités de Ética de la investigación y sus Problemas en los Países Desarrollados y en Vías de Desarrollo.” Link to program.
February 19, 2013, Kingston, Jamaica | Health Information Use & Protection: NBCJ 1st Consultation Meeting, National Bioethics Committee of Jamaica, Jamaica National Commission for UNESCO, PAHO/WHO Ministry of Health, Presentation, Dr. Kenneth W. Goodman, “HIPAA or not? The US experience.” Link to program.
February 18, 2013, Kingston, Jamaica | Beyond the Common Law Protection of Confidences in Health Care: A Seminar, National Bioethics Committee of Jamaica, University of the West Indies and Jamaica National Commission for UNESCO, Presentation, Dr. Kenneth W. Goodman, “Medical informatics and confidentiality.” Link to program.
January 25, 2013, México DF | Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas, Presentation, Dr. Sergio Litewka, “Perspectivas Internacionales en Integridad Cientifica: De los principios a la practica.” Link to program …. Dr. Litewka with UNAM students
June 4, 2012, Toluca, México | “International Congress of Bioethics,” Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Presentation, Dr. Kenneth W. Goodman, “Bioética, Technología de la Información y Salud.” Link to program.