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Book Chapter

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This chapter examines conflicting norms in the government's licensing of speech and the press on “human-subjects research” through institutional review boards (IRBs). It begins by discussing licensing and why the prohibition of it is so fundamental and prroceeds by providing an overview of the structure of institutional review board licensing. It then highlights the unconstitutionality of IRB laws, arguing that the use of IRBs violates the principles of academic freedom. It asserts that licensing of speech or the press was a method of controlling the press employed by the Inquisition and the Star Chamber, and the First Amendment unequivocally barred it. Particularly in medical research and its publication, the suppression evidently causes several thousands of deaths each year. The chapter considers the IRB censorship to be the most widespread and systematic assault on the freedom of speech and the press in U.S. history.


First Amendment | Law | Law and Philosophy