The in all proposed research studies. Ethics on

The ethical
aspects of a study take precedence over any other areas of the study (Nieswiadomy,
Participants’ rights must be protected in all proposed research studies. Ethics
on the other hand, concerned with rules and principle of human behaviour which
is known to be complex that makes it difficult to formulate rules to govern the
actions of human being. The present ethical standards used in research are
based on guideline developed after the World War II where Nuremberg Code was
established in 1947, followed by Declaration of Helsinki in 1964. In 1978, the
ethical principal and guideline were reviewed. A draft was prepared and
reported in The Belmont Report published in 1979 presenting three basic


Principles of
research ethics

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v  Respect
for persons (autonomy) – entails two requirements: firstly, individuals should
be treated as autonomous agents, capable of deciding for themselves about
important personal matters. Accordingly, subjects should only be involved in
research if they have given their voluntary consent and been fully informed
about the nature, purpose and consequences of the study. Secondly, individuals
whose autonomy is diminished as a result of external circumstances, or their
physical or mental condition, require special protection. With regard to a
research project, this protection needs to be adapted to individual
circumstances, ensuring that the persons concerned are not involved in research
which could be harmful for them.

v  Beneficence
– is the duty to ensure the welfare of the persons concerned. This means an
obligation firstly to avoid harm and secondly to maximise possible benefits (Beauchamp & Childres, 2001). But
here a dilemma arises: to avoid risks, one needs to know what is harmful. This
knowledge, in turn, depends on evidence obtained from studies. Thus, in order
to discover what is actually beneficial for patients, it may be necessary to
expose them to risks.

v  Justice
– is concerned with the distribution of burdens, risks, chances and benefits to
different persons and groups, and with the question of what exactly is “owed”
to an individual. The first element raises the question, for example, who
should receive the benefits of research and who should bear its burdens. The
second question, for example, to what extent people whose condition may differ
markedly should be recognised as equals and treated accordingly.


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