Research ethics involve requirements on daily work, the protection of dignity of subjects and the publication of the information in the research.
Research on elder abuse and neglect poses a multitude of challenges. Besides presenting methodological and practical difficulties, studying maltreatment of older people raises formidable ethical and policy problems.
Two general features of the research account for these problems. First, the study population includes older persons with various mental, physical, and social vulnerabilities.
Second, the research involves collecting information that could have negative legal, financial, and social consequences for the older persons and caregivers being studied. The ethical and policy analysis is further complicated by an absence of regulatory guidance and ethical consensus regarding the appropriate procedures to govern research involving persons who lack the ability to decide about research participation.
A similar lack of guidance exists regarding the conduct of research in nursing homes and other residential facilities. Finally, current policy and ethics fail to resolve many questions about the appropriate approach to research seeking legally and socially sensitive information.
In this paper, I address ethical and policy issues raised by research on elder abuse and neglect. I use as a framework for ethical analysis the Belmont Report, a document that identifies ethical principles and guidelines for research involving human participants 1 National Commission for the Ethical and policy issues in research of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research, My analysis reviews general issues relevant to research on elder abuse and neglect.
Because states vary in their approaches to regulating disclosures of private information, professional reporting duties, nursing home operations, and other relevant topics, issues raised by individual research projects must be separately evaluated by local institutional review boards IRBs and attorneys.
The Belmont Report describes the characteristic features of research involving human participants and articulates three ethical principles that apply to such research. These principles are 1 respect for persons, 2 beneficence, and 3 justice.
The principle of respect for persons underlies the requirement for informed consent to study participation. The principle of beneficence underlies the requirement to evaluate and balance risks and expected benefits in human studies.
The principle of justice addresses fairness in selection of research participants. Provisions in the Common Rule incorporate these Belmont Report principles and requirements. Institutional review boards rely heavily on the Belmont Report and Common Rule when they evaluate research proposals. Thus, studies on elder abuse and neglect must take into account the concepts and considerations in these documents.
Although the Department of Health and Human Services has adopted additional regulations to cover certain populations deemed especially vulnerable in research, it has no special regulations governing research involving older persons, persons with impaired decision making capacity, or residents of nursing homes and other institutions.
Various individuals and groups have, however, made recommendations addressing ethical issues with particular relevance to these populations.
In addition, the Common Rule contains a few provisions that specifically bear on vulnerable populations in research.
In considering the issues raised by research involving elder abuse and neglect, one should keep in mind certain characteristics of U. Ethical principles and federal regulations establish a general framework for analyzing research proposals.
In the current system, local IRBs, as well as funding agencies, interpret and apply the general principles and regulations to specific studies. The oversight system is based on the judgment that studies are sufficiently different and complex that it would be difficult and probably futile to set rules for every possible situation.
Instead, the system is designed to allow staff at the local institution and people from the local community to decide how the general principles should apply to individual studies.
One inevitable consequence of this system is variation in IRB decisions addressing matters not definitively resolved by the federal regulations. An initial task is to determine which projects qualify as research and which research projects are covered by the Common Rule.
Not all information gathering and interventions related to elder abuse and neglect involve research. Moreover, some research is exempt from federal oversight. The Belmont Report and the Common Rule address, but do not fully resolve, these classification issues.
Distinguishing Research from Other Information Gathering Activities Underlying the research oversight system is the judgment that research presents particular ethical concerns.
Past incidents illustrate that the rights and interests of participants may be compromised in research. As a result, individuals are owed certain special protections in research that may not be required in other data-collection contexts.
The Common Rule and its underlying principles are intended to cover the process of producing generalizable knowledge, an activity that society labels desirable but not so important that people should be compelled to participate Pritchard, Data collection can occur in numerous contexts, including patient care, social services, public health, and program evaluation contexts.
These activities fall under the general heading of practice and are not covered by the research oversight system. At the same time, these activities may be combined with research.This section includes relevant background text, definitions and examples, policy statements, a video debate, and expert commentary.
Ethical issues in pedigree research are complicated because there can be potential conflicts between the rights and responsibilities of an individual and of a group. (NBAC ), Research Involving Persons with Mental Disorders That May Affect Decisionmaking Capacity (NBAC ), Ethical Issues in Human Stem Cell Research (NBAC a), Research Involving Human Biological Materials: Ethical Issues and Policy Guidance (NBAC b), and Ethical and Policy Issues in International Research: Clinical Trials in.
Ethical Issues There are a number of key phrases that describe the system of ethical protections that the contemporary social and medical research establishment have created to try to protect better the rights of their research participants.
Series/Report: Ethical and Policy Issues in Research Involving Human Participants;Volume 1, August Abstract: The National Bioethics Advisory Commission examined the current state of human research subject oversight by the federal government.
Results: The major ethical issues in conducting research are: a) Informed consent, b) Beneficence- Do not harm c) Respect for anonymity and confidentiality d) Respect for privacy. However, both the nature of nursing which focuses on caring, preventing harm and protecting dignity and the advocates role of nurses which calls for defending the.
Indeed, researchers face an array of ethical requirements: They must meet professional, institutional and federal standards for conducting research with human participants, often supervise students they also teach and have to sort out authorship issues, just to name a few.