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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Casebook on Ethical Issues in International Health Research (Books: WHO | 2009)0

Posted by Admin in on April 4, 2017

This publication is the outcome of a project of the Secretariat of the Research Ethics Review Committee of the World Health Organization in partnership with the University of Geneva, and with the support of the Réseau universitaire international de Genève/Geneva International Academic Network (RUIG/GIAN).

This casebook collects 64 case studies, each of which raises an important and difficult ethical issue connected with planning, reviewing, or conducting health-related research. The book’s purpose is to contribute to thoughtful analysis of these issues by researchers and members of research ethics committees (RECs, known in some places as ethical review committees or institutional review boards), particularly those involved with studies that are conducted or sponsored internationally.

This collection is envisioned principally as a tool to aid educational programmes, from short workshops on research ethics to in-service learning for scientists and REC members, to formal degree or certificate courses. In such settings, instructors will typically select a number of case studies that will be distributed to the participants to provoke and focus discussion. (To assist those using these case studies in their classrooms and workshops, a teaching guide has been included.) Individuals who want to stimulate their own thinking about research ethics or to become more familiar with a range of real-world dilemmas in international health research, especially in developing countries, may also benefit from perusing this book, either on topics of special interest to them or as a whole

WHO (2009). Casebook on Ethical Issues in International Research.
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Responsibilities in international research: a new look revisited (Papers: Solomon R Benatar & Peter A Singer | 2010)0

Posted by Admin in on March 30, 2017

Following promulgation of the Nuremberg code in 1947, the ethics of research on human subjects has been a challenging and often contentious topic of debate. Escalation in the use of research participants in low-income countries over recent decades (stimulated by the HIV pandemic and the need to carry out clinical trials expeditiously on large numbers of patients), has intensified the debate on the ethics of international research and led to increasing attention both to exploitation of vulnerable subjects and to considerations of how the 10:90 gap in health and medical research (ie, 90% of resources being spent on 10% of the problems) could be narrowed.

In 2000, prompted by the discussions over several years that led to the US NIH launching a capacity building programme on research ethics for members of research ethics committees in developing countries, we advanced a ‘new look’ for the ethics of international research.1 Since then progress has been made on several fronts.

First, our ideas—considered somewhat radical and impractical at the time—have been provocatively addressed by scholars who have either contested them or advanced similar conceptions of what obligations international researchers have to research participants and communities in low income countries before, during and after clinical trials. Second, those researchers who have been sympathetic to our ideas have either endeavoured to put these into practice or have investigated the feasibility of doing so. Third, the intractability of the 10/90 gap and the escalation of interest in global health have sensitised many to the need to amplify the uptake of these ideas in practice

Benatar SR, Singer PA (2010). Responsibilities in international research: a new look revisited. Journal of Medical Ethics 36(4) pp:194-197
Publisher: (Open Access here)

Using Social Media as a Research Recruitment Tool: Ethical Issues and Recommendations (Papers: Luke Gelinas, et al | 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on March 23, 2017

The use of social media as a recruitment tool for research with humans is increasing, and likely to continue to grow. Despite this, to date there has been no specific regulatory guidance and there has been little in the bioethics literature to guide investigators and institutional review boards (IRBs) faced with navigating the ethical issues such use raises. We begin to fill this gap by first defending a nonexceptionalist methodology for assessing social media recruitment; second, examining respect for privacy and investigator transparency as key norms governing social media recruitment; and, finally, analyzing three relatively novel aspects of social media recruitment: (i) the ethical significance of compliance with website “terms of use”; (ii) the ethics of recruiting from the online networks of research participants; and (iii) the ethical implications of online communication from and between participants. Two checklists aimed at guiding investigators and IRBs through the ethical issues are included as appendices.

ethics, privacy, recruitment, research, social media, transparency

Gelinas L, Pierce R, Winkler S, Cohen G, Fernandez H, and Bierer L&B (2017) Using Social Media as a Research Recruitment Tool: Ethical Issues and Recommendations, The American Journal of Bioethics, 17(3), pp3-14, DOI: 10.1080/15265161.2016.1276644

Ethical Imperialism? Exporting Research Ethics to the Global South (Books: Mark Israel | 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on March 21, 2017

The global export of principlism forms part of international flows of capital, students and academics, knowledge and ideology. Multinational research teams have looked to those countries with lower risks of litigation, low labour costs, pharmacologically ‘naive’ participants, weak ethics review and the absence of other regulatory processes. As a result, research in low- and middle-income countries has burgeoned. As developing countries struggle to keep pace, the Helsinki and UNESCO Declarations have created regulatory templates and ca pa city-building initiatives have encouraged researchers in many developing countries to follow these models. Contemporary regulation in South Africa and Brazil has shadowed developments in the global North and extended biomedical regulation to all forms of research. Opposition to principlism is not simply targeted at insensitivity in application but challenges the universal basis for principlism, and calls for a deeper understanding of how different societies, cultures, peoples and disciplines understand ethics, research and ethical research.

research ethics; principlism; ethical imperialism; global South; low- and middle-income countries; South Africa; Brazil

Israel, M. (2017). Ethical Imperialism? Exporting Research Ethics to the Global South. In R. Iphofen & M. Tolich (Eds.), The SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Research Ethics. SAGE (in press). Pre-print version here.