Research on Deceased Individuals

Research involving deceased individuals is not human subjects research according to 45 CFR 46.102(f) and does not require IRB oversight unless the research involves both living and deceased individuals.  At the University of Pittsburgh, the Committee for Oversight in Research Involving Decedents (CORID), under the Office of Oversight of Anatomic Specimens, conducts reviews of projects that involve deceased individuals exclusively.

UPMC polices address access to the PHI of deceased individuals as outlined below and found on the IRB website.

UPMC may grant access to and permit researchers to record the PHI of deceased individuals, held by a UPMC entity, under the following conditions:

  • if the information is de-identified by an honest broker service; or,
  • if pursuant to a valid research authorization signed by the administrator or executor of the deceased individual’s estate or the person who is listed as next of kin.