Legal and Ethical Issues in Biomedical Research
Any research must put into consideration the various ethical and legal concerns associated with conducting social research. Firstly, the methods for data collection should be devoid of sensitive questions. The majority of people fear for their views to be known, and they seek confidentiality. The principle of voluntary participation requires that no correspondent be forced into participating (Boswell & Cannon, 2011).
We will write a custom Research Paper on Ethics in Biomedical and Nursing Internet Research specifically for you
301 certified writers online
To achieve these, the participation of the human subjects was based on free will. Also, this was achieved through the preservation of the anonymity of the respondents: all biomedical research studies should aim at guaranteeing the anonymity and confidentiality of the respondents. Not all the information gathered will be revealed to anyone under any circumstance except for meeting the research purposes of the study (Burns & Grove, 2010).
All these were achieved through the ethical review of the human subjects under the Instrument Generation and Psychometric Testing of phases during the study. The research guaranteed no harm to participants and researchers before, during, and after the research study. It is an ethical requirement of a biomedical research study that the researcher should not put the respondent in a harmful situation through his participation in the project. Also, all the subjects received equal treatment without prejudice, and they have informed of the reasons for the research prior to their participation.
Code of Ethics Protecting Human Subjects in Biomedical Research
Professional Code of Ethics is implemented to serve as a guideline for professional practice. They are established by professional bodies to regulate the conduct of professionals in a particular field. The establishment of a Code of Ethics does not necessarily mean that the professionals will follow them. There are documented cases of violations of the Ethical Code of Conduct, implying that the Code of Ethics does not necessarily translate to action (Ezekiel, 2008).
In light of this view, it is arguably evident that adherence alone cannot be used to guarantee that the human subjects in biomedical research will be protected. There is a need to ensure that the Code of Professional Ethics being implemented best suits the protection of human subjects in the context of biomedical research. It is vital to ensure that the Code of Ethics outlines the responsibilities of the researcher and the research sponsor.
This is vital in ensuring that the protocols adopted during biomedical research protect the human subjects. Also, there is a need to implement human protection activities during biomedical research, which includes monitoring the researchers’ activities, their respective sponsors, institutional review boards, and other personnel who may be involved in the trial. This serves to enhance the protection of human subjects and fills the void left by adherence to the code of ethics (Burns & Grove, 2010).
Institutional Review Boards were formed to protect the rights and welfare of the human subjects participating in biomedical research. The IRB has the responsibility of reviewing the protocol and the document used for obtaining informed consent to ensure that the level of risk in the research is acceptable. IRBs protect the human subjects because they operate based on the ethical principles inclined towards maintaining respect for persons (Rothman, 2009).
New Ethical Concerns Related to the Use of the Internet for Nursing Research
The internet is increasingly becoming an essential tool for conducting nursing research. With its increased use, there are several ethical and legal concerns that have arisen, which includes the age of the participants in the research and the security of the collected information (Nigel, 2008).
Conducting nursing research over the internet makes it difficult to verify the age of a participant; as a result, nursing researchers have to deploy appropriate strategies to filter minors from participating in a study that does not require their involvement. Some of the approaches that can be used in addressing this ethical concern are the use of a disclaimer discouraging underage participants from participating in the survey, asking the participants to fill in their date of birth with an automatic calculator that determines their age and permits them to continue participating in the survey. When conducting a survey on underage participants, it is essential to obtain parental consent prior to participation (Burns & Grove, 2010).
Security of the information collected is also a legal and ethical concern associated with conducting research over the internet. This means that it is important to inform the participant of that level of security according to the information gathered from them if they are involved in an internet research.
This is similar to the principle of preservation and anonymity of the respondents. All nursing research conducted over the internet should aim at guaranteeing the anonymity and confidentiality of the respondents. No information gathered is to be revealed to anyone under any circumstance. Also, the data collection methodologies should not ask the participants information that compels them to disclose their identity, such as their names (Burns & Grove, 2010).
Boswell, C., & Cannon, S. (2011). Introduction to nursing research: incorporating evidence based practice. New York: Jones & Bartlett.
Burns , N., & Grove, S. (2010). Understanding nursing research Building an evidence based practice. New York: Elsevier – Health Sciences Division.
Ezekiel, E. (2008). The Oxford textbook of clinical research ethics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Get your first paper with 15% OFF
Rothman, D. J. (2009). Ethics and Human Experimentation. New England Journal of Medicine, 89.
Nigel, F. (2008). The SAGE handbook of online research methods. New York: SAGE.