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Ethics in Research

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Part 1

Why are ethics so important in research? List three key ethical principles. Elaborate on one principle- highlight how the principle ensures that research does not harm participants. 

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In research, ethics is important because ethical norms enhance the objectives of the study, for instance, error avoidance, truth, and knowledge. Moral standards also improve the essential values for collaborative work, for example, trust, fairness, mutual respect, and accountability as research mostly entails coordination and cooperation between various groups from different organizations and disciplines. Many ethical standards ensure that researchers are responsible to the public for their study, which helps avoid misconducts and conflicts of interest, helps protect human participants, and helps care for animals used for research. Ethical standards are also useful in developing public support for the study as people can fund the research if they trust the integrity and quality of the research. Ethics promotes other essential social and moral values, for instance, human rights, social responsibility, compliance with regulation, animal welfare and public health and safety (Cunningham, Weathington & Pittenger, 2013). Three vital ethical principles include honesty, participant protection and integrity(Cunningham, Weathington & Pittenger, 2013). Researchers must protect participants from harm during research by ensuring that the risk of damage is less than the same risk in ordinary life. Researchers must also ask participants about any procedure aspects that may create a risk, for instance, current health conditions, and advise them on how to avoid the risk. The researcher must also inform participants of the study procedures early by highlighting possible danger. If the methods can lead to undesirable outcomes for a participant, the researcher must detect and correct or remove the results (Cunningham, Weathington & Pittenger, 2013).

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Who are considered vulnerable people in research?

Vulnerable people in research are those participants who are at a higher risk of wrong or harm. Vulnerable people can be competent to offer participation consent, but find it challenging to deny approval if placed under explicit or implicit pressure(Cunningham, Weathington & Pittenger, 2013). Examples include people with learning problems, mental problems, and the elderly, those living in an institution, pregnant women, children and young persons.  They are vulnerable due to the concealed risks or pressures of involuntary side effects. These groups require maximum care, specific additional attention, and increased safeties during research.

Part 2

What are some factors that should be considered before disseminating your research?

Before disseminating the research, a researcher should consider first the intended audience of the study or who the information will benefit. Then, the researcher must identify the potential methods for dissemination, for instance through journals, blogs, book chapters, social media or conference presentations depending on the kind of research (Cunningham, Weathington & Pittenger, 2013). For instance, if the study aims to gain new knowledge in a specific scientific domain, the likely audience will be the scientific, academic audience and dissemination methods can be journals, books or conference presentations. However, if the objective is to share results of a community problem, like adult obesity, the audience will be the community and the dissemination methods can be blogs, videos or social media. After this, the researcher must identify ways to handle possible research barriers. Examples of restrictions include study funds, affordable research methods, available resources and communication skills, the necessity for relationship building and time limitations.

What is the main responsibility of the IRB in healthcare research?

The primary role of IRB is to protect the safety, well-being and the rights of people involved in clinical research or trial by evaluating all elements of the study and approving its initiation (Cunningham, Weathington & Pittenger, 2013). It assesses the suitability of the research protocol and the dangers and gains of research participants. It ensures that participants in the study are exposed to low risks about any benefits that can emerge from the study.

Read the article Henrietta lacks — an unsung hero. (1994, 10). Emerge, 6, 29.

And Based on current ethical principles and guidelines, discuss the ethical implication of securing human tissue and continual usage.

While human specimens have contributed significantly to medical advances and scientific research, the story of HeLa cells provoked policy changes, mainly regarding informed consent (Washington, 1994). Informed consent requires making voluntary choices regarding participation in research after understanding the objective, methods, dangers, advantages, and alternatives to the research. About securing human specimen and continued usage, informed consent uses established principles that include respect for participants, goodness, and justice. Based on these principles, crucial elements of informed consent entail providing information about the study that a reasonable individual should know in an understandable language and way and under conditions free from undue influence or coercion.

1. Cunningham, C. J., Weathington, B. L., & Pittenger, D. J. (2013). Understanding and conducting research in the health sciences. John Wiley & Sons.

2. Washington, H. A. (1994). Henrietta Lacks–An Unsung Hero. Emerge Magazine, 6.

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