PS: Political Science & Politics

Symposium—Protecting Human Research Participants, IRBs, and Political Science Redux

A Collision of Noble Goals: Protecting Human Subjects, Improving Health Care, and a Research Agenda for Political Science

Sue Tolleson-Rineharta1

a1 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Atul Gawande is a surgeon who began creating vivid word paintings of the performance of the American health care system in The New Yorker's pages while he was still a resident. Those of us who are immersed in, and charged with measuring, that system—as I have been for the last decade—find his “Annals of Medicine” column's evocations of heroic system successes and frightening system failures true to the processes we more prosaically try to analyze and evaluate. In December 2007 Gawande published a New Yorker essay called “The Checklist,” followed just days later by an op-ed piece in the New York Times (Gawande 2007a; 2007b).