Essay Sample on Ethics in Research

Published: 2023-12-25
Essay Sample on Ethics in Research
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Research Ethics
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1256 words
11 min read


The consensus of ethical considerations in research is that no harm of any form should reach the participants; socially, financially, and psychologically (Polonsky & Waller, 2011). It is the responsibility of the project facilitator to uphold ethical standards. The importance of the norms of conduct continues to grow in medicine and research as well. This paper will use ethical guidelines to protect participants by emphasizing ethical principles in research, as provided by the Belmont Report (Department of health, 2014). Implementation of the ethical principles from the Belmont report will be examined for the project with the title, "The impact of an EBP educational seminar on vector-borne illnesses among pregnant women ages 18 to 40, housed in the villages in North East Peru". This project is to be pursued by this student as an assisting step in their Professional Doctoral Project at Capella University. According to Orleans (2015), the protection from any form of harm and the due respect of human participants is required in research projects. This paper, and the proposal of the project, will be submitted to the university and the Institutional Review Board (IRB) to ensure ethical compliance.

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Project Overview

Zika Virus is a disease caused by a viral infection that gets transmitted by Aedes Mosquitos. The symptoms of the Zika Virus include; fever, headache, joint and muscle pain, rash, and conjunctivitis, among others. The symptoms last between two to seven days (Chakhtoura et al., 2018). According to Noorbakhsh et al. (2019), the disease is worse during pregnancy since children could be born with a risk of developing congenital malformations. The Zika Virus could also cause preterm birth or a miscarriage in the worst-case scenario. The past few years have seen the Zika Virus become a global public concern because of the widespread transmission devastating consequences from children who are born with infected mothers (Chakhtoura et al., 2018). The target population of the research is pregnant women aged 18 to 40, housed in the villages in North-East Peru. Dr. Lane Rolling, a world-renown expert in infectious diseases and specializing in vector-borne illnesses and Tpaida NGO Director of Tpaida Clinical Field Medicine Bio Research International, discussed his research that focused on studying high-dose Zika virus and low-dose Zika maternal infection virus and their long-term health effects. High Zika virus dosage (HDZKV) has a critical negative impact on offspring, including fetal death.

However, low-dose virus (LD ZKV) has long-term health defects, including increased testosterone levels, particularly among infants of the male and weight loss at the fetal birth (Stanelle-Bertram et al., 2018). The objective of this project is to research if the implementation of a virtual, EBP educational seminar on vector-borne illnesses in the participants helps increase awareness, knowledge, and, hopefully, a change in health behavior regarding ZKV and congenital ZKA in offspring in North-East Peru. This study will provide the knowledge, awareness, attitude, and practice among pregnant women ages 18 to 40, housed in the villages in North East Peru, concerning the current situation of the Zika Virus. The information includes current preventive measures, availability, and effectiveness of the awareness programs, what they think would be the best approach to the situation, and areas they require assistance from the government to help reduce the prevalence of the situation. Since the project involves human participants, ethical considerations will be applied in the project as per the Belmont Report.

Major Ethical Issues

In the past, participants in research and surveys have been exploited. To curb the potential abuse of human subjects in the experiment, the Nuremberg Code was introduced in the 1940s (Marshall, 2007). The code was introduced after tragedies of the abuse of human rights in the Nazi experiments. Some of the principles in the Nuremberg Code include; voluntary informed consent of participants, freedom to withdrawal from research, protection from harm, protection suffering, and benefits of research should be greater than the risks. According to Marshall (2007), the Helsinki Declaration of 1964 highlighted the need to balance risks and benefits. It also emphasized the importance of the protection of the participants. This paper will draw guidance from the Nuremberg Code of 1947, the Helsinki Declaration of 1964, and the Belmont Report of 1979. It is vital to examine the ethical principals in research projects; ethical issues considered in this project are; voluntary participation, informed consent of the participants, communication/debriefing sessions, confidentiality, and beneficence/non-maleficence.

Recruitment and Informed Consent

According to Leino-Kilpi (2015), researchers must ensure that potential and interested participants fully comprehend what they are being requested to do and are well informed of any potential consequences of their participation. An information sheet provided to all the invites with an official university letterhead is one of the most efficient ways to address the issue of consent. Thoughtful and sufficient information in the letter should help them make an informed decision on whether they will volunteer to participate or not. Voluntary participation is also covered under informed consent. For this project, literate, pregnant, and childbearing age women between the ages of 18-40 from North East Peru would be asked if they would like to participate in the case study during their routine visit to the clinic. Interested participants will then take the information consent forms home, and those that will volunteer to attend the program will bring the duly signed forms. Participants of the case study must be provided with the consent document copy. This will happen during the first day of the 14-day process. Privacy, confidentiality, and anonymity are also catered for in the information consent sheet. Privacy issues refer to who, when, what, and how the data will be collected. It also involves who the data will be shared with and who it will be withheld (Pickard & Childs, 2013). Issues concerning privacy will be in the information sheet and discussed further with the voluntary participants on the first day of the research and throughout the program.


The Belmont Report emphasizes that debriefing and communication is an important part of information consent (Kazdin, 2017). In this project, there will be communication and debriefing in all meetings and sessions. Participants are welcome to ask questions and communicate their thoughts to build trust with the project facilitators. In the final day of the program, a final debriefing session will be provided to revisit the aims of the project, and the participants will be allowed to express their final feelings on the project. At this point, participants that require further attention will be referred to healthcare facilities.


Chakhtoura, N., Hazra, R., & Spong, C. (2018). Zika virus: A public health perspective. Current Opinion in Obstetrics & Gynecology, 30(2), 116.

Department of Health. (2014). The Belmont Report. Ethical principles and guidelines for the protection of human subjects of research. National Library of Medicine, 81(3), 4-13.

Kazdin, A. (2017). Research design in healthcare.

Leino-Kilpi, H. (2015). Patient's autonomy, privacy, and informed consent (3rd Ed.). IOS Press.

Marshall, P. (2007). Ethical Challenges in Study Design and Informed Consent for Health Research in Resource-poor Settings. World Health Organization.

Noorbakhsh, F., Abdolmohammadi, K., Fatahi, Y., Dalili, H., & Rasoolinejad, M. (2019). Zika Virus Infection, Basic and Clinical Aspects: A Review Article. Iranian Journal of Public Health, 48(1).

Orleans, M. (2015). Cases on critical and qualitative perspectives in online higher education.

Pickard, A., & Childs, S. (2013). Research methods in information. Facet.

Polonsky, M., & Waller, D. (2011). Designing and managing a research project. Sage.

Stanelle-Bertram, S., Walendy-GnirĂź, K., Speiseder, T., & Thiele, S. (2018). Male offspring born to mildly ZIKV-infected mice are at risk of developing neurocognitive disorders in adulthood. Nat Microbiol.

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