Principles as equals and treated accordingly. Justice

of research ethics

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.

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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.


– To ensure the welfare of the persons concerned. This means an obligation
firstly to avoid harm and secondly to maximize possible benefits. 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. The ethical principle of
beneficence refers to the Hippocratic “be of benefit, do not harm.  “. Beauchamp and Childress, suggest that

“the principle of beneficence includes the professional mandate to do
effective and significant research so as to better serve and promote the
welfare of our constituents”( Beauchamp & Childres, 2001).

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 asks, for example, to
what extent people whose condition may differ markedly should be recognized as
equals and treated accordingly. Justice which is deals with the concept of
fairness that is the distribution of burdens, risks, chances and benefits. Participants
need to be treated with equal respect and concern where the benefits of the
research will be shared, where feasible with all of those affected by its

Other than the three previously mentioned
fundamental principles of research ethics, there are also five basic ethical
principal (Laerd, 2012) which are minimizing the risk of harm, obtaining
informed consent, protecting anonymity and confidentiality, avoiding deceptive
practices and providing the right to withdraw.

researcher must avoid deceptive practices. This occur when the researcher
provide false or incomplete information to the participants for the purpose of
misleading research subjects. Dissertation research should avoid any kinds of
deceptive practice while in the covert research, deception is sometimes a
necessary components. Coverts research reflects research where the identity of
the observer and/or the purpose of the research is not known to participants.

The participants
have right to withdraw from the research study and they also should have the
right to withdraw themselves from the research study anytime. They should not
be pressured or coerced in any way to try and stop them from withdrawing

Respect for privacy – According to Levine (1976) “privacy is
the freedom an individual has to determine the time, extent, and general
circumstances under which private information will be shared with or withheld
from others “.  Information such
as beliefs, attitudes, opinions and records, is shared with others, without the
patients’ consent.  A researcher cannot
decide on behalf of the participants on those delicate issues. All aims,
instruments and methodology must be discussed with the prospective subject. Even
apply to report of age, income, marital status, and other details that the
subject may regard intimate.


The elements of
informed consent plays an important role in the informed consent process

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