Discuss the major ethical principles that guideresearchers in their works. There are three fundamental principles of research ethics accordingto Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences (2015) which are respect for persons or autonomy, beneficence and justice.The principle of respect for person or autonomy consists of two requirementswhich is first, the individuals should be treated as autonomous which means that theindividual capable of making their own decision about important personal matters.
The individual should only be involved in research if they have voluntarilygive their consent and been fully informed about the nature, purpose andconsequences of the research. The participants’ right need to be respected so that they can make their owndecision whether to participate in the research. The principle of autonomy is people withdiminished autonomy should be protected which is theprotection needs to be adapted to individual circumstances, ensuring that thepersons concerned are not involved in research which could be harmful for themwith regard to a research project. This is because some people in society maynot have the capacity to make fully informed decisions. Beneficence is the act that is donefor the benefit of others or a duty to ensure the welfare of the personsconcerned. The research should do no harm and maximize benefits forparticipants and minimize risks for participants. The purpose of the researchis to discover new information that would be helpful for the society in future.
It shouldn’t causeharm to anyone or find out information at the expense of other people. There isdilemma arises from the researcher in this case because to avoid the risks, theresearcher needs to know what is harmful. The evidence obtained from the studywill show whether it is beneficence or not. In order to identify what canbenefit the patients, it may be necessary to exposed them to risks although theresearchers are obligated to do their best to minimize those possible risks andto maximize the benefits for participants. The other principal is justice whichis deals with the concept of fairness that is the distribution of burdens,risks, chances and benefits.
Participants need to be treated with equal respectand concern where the benefits of the research will be shared, where feasible with all of those affected by itsresults. Theparticipants will not be excluded from research for reasons unrelated to theresearch. Researchers will be cognizant of, and works to mitigate, imbalancesin power between themselves and participants, among individual participants, orbetween participants and the groups to which they belong. Otherthan the three previously mentioned fundamental principles of research ethics,there are also five basic ethical principal (Laerd, 2012) which are minimisingthe risk of harm, obtaining informed consent, protecting anonymity andconfidentiality, avoiding deceptive practices and providing the right towithdraw.
The research that will be conducted must not give harm to theparticipants’ physically, psychologically, socially, financially and/or affecttheir privacy and anonymity. Researchers need to focus on these elements inorder to minimising the risk of harm. Obtaining the informed consent fromthe participant is essential for the researcher for their study. Informedconsent is needed to make sure the participants is fully understand that theyare taking part in the research study and what the research requires of them.All of the elements that should be included in the informed consent need to befully delivered to the participants and they should fully understand theconsent. The participation of the individuals should be voluntary without beinginfluence by any person or subjects. The anonymity and confidentiality of theparticipant need to be protected as previously mentioned in the anonymityprincipal in the fundamental of research ethics.
The fourth principal is to avoiddeceptive practices. This can occur when the researcher provide false orincomplete information to the participants for the purpose of misleadingresearch subjects. Dissertation research should avoid any kinds of deceptivepractice while in the covert research, deception is sometimes a necessarycomponents. Coverts research reflects research where the identity of theobserver and/or the purpose of the research is not known to participants.
The last principal is providing the participants the right towithdraw from the research study. The participants should have the right towithdraw themselves from the research study anytime. They should not bepressured or coerced in any way to try and stop them from withdrawing.