In this thought-provoking post, Nik Zeps (a consultant with AHRECS and a partner at Chrysalis) discusses the serious harm (in terms of reputation and career, as well as lost useful lines of inquiry) when there are complaints that allege ethical problems with clinical research.
These relate to situations where the clinical research is evaluating different kinds of intervention, where the evidence for the ‘accepted’ treatment might not be clear.
A misunderstanding of such research designs and a visceral reaction to apparent breaches aren’t helpful.
When such allegations are made, the researchers are rarely afforded an opportunity to respond and explain. If they were, one assumes that the manner could be easily cleared up.
We are embarrassed to admit in our own reporting of the cited case we really didn’t grasp the realities of what occurred or called out the very emotive reaction.
In this post, Gary Allen and Nik Zeps explore the human research ethics arguments and imperatives that only allow for the sharing of data, but establish a public good that can make sharing expected and essential.
This expectation should shape the approach to consent, the framing of assurances given to potential participants about confidentiality and e reflected in the application for research ethics review.
Research ethics committees and review bodies should be cognisant of these ethical arguments during the research ethics review of projects
Institutions must have clear policies and guidance material on data sharing.
Element Zero: What’s missing from the National Statement to support Consumer and Community Involvement in health research?
In this great post, Mark, Deborah and Ciara discuss a useful new element for the National Statement that relates to genuine involvement, input and participation for consumers/community members.
Mark Israel, Deborah Hersh and Ciara Shiggins
Advocates in health research of Consumer and Community Involvement – a concept better known in the United Kingdom as Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) – argue that it offers a way of building knowledge that incorporates the experiences and perspectives of a range of stakeholders, including patients and members of the public. Such involvement can improve the experience for research participants, enhance the process of informed consent, aid research impact and dissemination. It might also avoid the waste of resources on findings that have little relevance to end users or that cannot be implemented…
Gary Allen, Carolyn Ehrlich, Michael Norwood, Delena Amsters and Maddy Slattery’s post reflecting on great engagements with disability reference groups.
Here, we aim to share insights from a group of Griffith University researchers and a consumer reference group, who worked together on a research project during the development of materials and methods, as well as in the dissemination of research outcomes. The research project we conducted aimed to explore the research experience of people with acquired disability. We wanted to understand what researchers could do better to be more inclusive of people who are often described as vulnerable or marginalised by the National Statement and subsequently Human Research Ethics Committees. We wanted to know how to best include them as participants in, rather than subjects of, research.
This is not a post advocating for the use of reference groups for research involving those with disability and chronic health conditions. Calls for respectful inclusion have already been eloquently made…
Gary Allen, Mark Israel and Colin Thomson|
In the 1980s and 1990s, many research institutions made the principled and commendable decision not to accept funding from the tobacco industry.
This reflected the recognition of the awful health impacts of tobacco use and the degree to which the industry was muddying the waters of public debate with academic and clinical research questioning the veracity of the overwhelming body of evidence that clearly showed the dire dangers of activity such as smoking. While we continue to be shocked by cases such those like the research of Hans J Eysenck (and this), for the main it is accepted that receiving funding from the tobacco industry is not in the public’s best interest.
As both a researcher and a research administrator in healthcare, one of the more vexing issues that I have to deal with on an almost daily basis is how to manage what are termed quality assurance, quality improvement and audit activities. In its 2014 publication entitled “Ethical Considerations in Quality Assurance and Evaluation Activities”, the NHMRC (NHMRC QA guidance) suggests that these can be loosely gathered together under an umbrella term of Quality Assurance (QA) and/or evaluation. I believe this construct is wrong and reinforces a longstanding approach to ethics review that relies on the category of an investigative activity to determine the level of review that is used. This approach is problematic and leads to some significant unintended consequences.
In this post, Gary, Mark and Kim refect on the draft update to Section 5 of the Australia’s National Statement.
“In recent years in Australia, we have seen some painful cases where research ethics review delegated to a non-HREC review body has failed to guard against projects that proved to be embarrassing for their host institution (see, for example, the ‘Racist bus driver’ and ‘Laughing at the disabled’ projects)….”
Embedding clinical research as part of routine healthcare: Managing the potential for competing interests. (UPDATED).
Nik Zeps AHRECS Consultant Clinical trials are widely accepted as the best method for understanding whether any particular medical
It’s not too late to register for today’s free webinar about the 2018 update to the National Statement
Details about the event below. While we hope to see you there in a
Worried your researchers might not be treating human research ethics as a core component of good research practice? Concerned they are not seeing it as their responsibility?
All of us might be part of the problem. Dr Gary Allen AHRECS Senior
Jay Marlowe and Martin Tolich have had an article published (in press) in Research
My recall of the earliest encounter I had with research ethics is when, as