Free Essay on Identifying Ethical Concerns in Nursing Research

Published: 2022-09-12 06:37:30
Free Essay on Identifying Ethical Concerns in Nursing Research
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories: Research Nursing Ethics
Pages: 2
Wordcount: 531 words
5 min read
143 views

As Ingham-Broomfield (2017) correctly observes, research in nursing raises various ethical concerns worth consideration by all practitioners, particularly where human subjects are involved. Based on the "Bad Blood" case study of the Tuskegee Syphilis Project, this post identifies unethical practices in the conduct of research, describes the effect of incentives on participants' reasoning, and discusses the measures currently in place to prevent unethical research.

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I believe the main reason the participants took part in the study was the lack of knowledge or adequate information about the true intent, objectives, and benefits or effects of the research. As per the "bad blood" case study, those who took part in the study were not informed of its true aim or purpose and only knew that they were being treated for syphilis and received money for burial. According to Yip et al. (2016), the reasoning for participation may be influenced by incentives in that cash or other benefits may be offered to subjects by a researcher may induce them to participate in a project.

The ethical principles that were violated in this research study were the principles of the promotion of justice, maleficence, fairness, beneficence, respect for persons, and empathy. The failure to take measures to ensure that the negative effects of the project and its benefits were equally and fairly distributed violated the principle of fairness and justice. The researchers also failed to respect the autonomy of the subjects and showed indifference to informed consent (Ingham-Broomfield, 2017). Further, the principles of empathy and maleficence were violated since the researchers failed to take precautions to avoid harm to subjects. Additionally, they did not have the participants' welfare in mind, hence violating the principle of beneficence.

Examples of unethical practices in research include professional misconduct, failure to obtain participants' informed consent, breach of confidentiality of subjects, failure to protect special or vulnerable populations, inappropriate use of sensitive information, bias, and inducement of participants (Yip, Han, & Sng, 2016). However, if an experiment such as the Tuskegee Syphilis Project would not be conducted today since currently there are various measures put in place to prevent unethical research, such as Codes of Ethics for nurses, national and international legislation on ethics in research, and the Belmont Report outlining the ethical guidelines and principles for human research subjects' protection.

To summarize, the "bad blood" case study reveals common unethical practices in research such as participant inducement, and failure to obtain the consent of subjects and to protect the vulnerable groups. It is clear that the participants took part in the study only because they were not aware of its injurious effects or were induced. The Tuskegee research project violated ethical principles such as justice, respect for autonomy, fairness, beneficence, honesty, and integrity. However, such an experiment may not be conducted today due to the elaborate legal and ethical framework put in place to govern research involving human subjects.

References

Ingham-Broomfield, B. (2017). A nurses' guide to ethical considerations and the process for ethical approval of nursing research. Australian Journal of Advanced Nursing, 35 (1), 40-47.

Yip, C., Han, N.R., & Sng, B.L. (2016). Legal and ethical issues in research. Indian Journal ofAnesthesia, 60(9), 684-688. doi: 10.4103/0019-5049.190627

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