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Code of Ethics when Conducting Research


Date Posted: 2/15/2017 11:31:19 PM

Posted By: 4520  Membership Level: Gold  Total Points: 5251

In the process of conducting research, several ethical considerations must be factored in during the study process. These principles act as guidance and protect the research subjects from dangers that might arise as a result of them taking part in the investigation. These set of beliefs and moral principles are what we refer to as ethics. Consequently, people can make better and informed choices. The nature of the decisions, as well as the roles played by individuals, mainly determines the ethical responsibilities of persons. This paper will look at the principles of ethics in research.

Several principles of ethics are to be considered when conducting research. One such consideration is informed consent. It is necessary that the participants give informed consent before taking part in any inquiry. By doing so, they should know what is expected of them during the research and what risks are involved. It is important that an information sheet is provided to potential participants. This sheet provides information about the study being conducted. If in agreement, the member should be issued with a consent form where he/she will sign to show agreement to take part in the research. In the scenario, the researchers said that approval had been issued orally and as such, no documented agreement was signed. This principle was not applicable in this context. For example, if anything goes wrong in the research, then the persons conducting the research must be accountable to the research subject to prove that they took part in the study based on their decisions. They should show that the research subjects were sufficiently aware of the risks and consequences involved.

Another consideration that should be factored in is that there should be no pressure on individuals to participate. By doing so, an incentive should not be used to encourage the participation

of people in an analysis (Bhutta, 2002). Rather, they should only be used as a token. This consideration did not apply in the scenario. This is because no form of token was involved in convincing the 22 patients to take part in the study. Besides, an equally fundamental consideration is that there should be respect towards individual autonomy. According to this principle, participants should be given the freedom of choice when deciding what to do (Bhutta, 2002). This consideration allows members to withdraw from the study at any given time without justifying their actions. In the scenario, this principle does not apply. This is because in contravention of the policy of full disclosure, the participants did not sign a consent form and reluctantly could not make any demands to quit the study. For example, if the research subjects had signed consent for detailing all the relevant information about the study, then the researcher would be legally obligated to allow the leave the study at any point they wish.

Further, maintaining anonymity and confidentiality of participants is required in ethical practices. A researcher should make the data from the participants anonymous by removing the names of the contributors (Sales & Folkman, 2000). Moreover, privacy entails protecting the data collected and as such, the researchers must disclose to the participants what level of confidentiality they can, and cannot guarantee. However, anonymity should depend on the member's decision since some opt to make their identities known. In the scenario, this principle did not apply because even the research subjects did not know what was involved in the research they were undertaking.


All details of the research or experiment should be known by the participants taking part in a study. Also, special care should be given to vulnerable groups involved in the analysis. They include young children and ill patients.

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