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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Beneficence as a Principle in Human Research0

 

Pieper, I. & Thomson, C.J.H. (2016) Beneficence as a Principle in Human Research. Monash Bioethics Review. 34: 117. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40592-016-0061-3

A Series on the Four Principles of the Australian National Statement on Ethics Conduct in Human Research

In this issue of the Research Ethics Monthly, Ian Pieper and Colin Thomson continue their series of short summaries of each of their four co-authored articles on the principles that underpin the Australian National Statement, namely, research merit and integrity, justice, beneficence and respect.

The articles were originally published in the Monash Bioethics Review and remain available to subscription holders to that journal. The publisher, Springer, has generously agreed to place each of the four articles on Free Access for one month after the corresponding short summary is published in the Research Ethics Monthly. Last month they revisited their paper entitled The value of respect in human research ethics: a conceptual analysis and a practical guide. This month they revisit the paper exploring the principle of beneficence in the context of human research. The full paper can be found here.

Beneficence is one of the four values and principles on which the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (National Statement) is founded. A requirement for beneficence to be demonstrably present in human research is not a uniquely Australian consideration but is found in many of the human research ethics guidance documents from around the world. Beneficence is an important consideration in that it mirrors the altruistic nature of the voluntary nature of participation in human research.

Being a positive virtue, beneficence is a moral ideal and considerations of it as a principle during the design and ethical assessment of a research project can be seen as subjective. This can make beneficence difficult to identify within research proposals. As a principle which promotes good or charitable outcomes, over and above those imposed by duty, it is not merely synonymous with non malfeasance. Beneficence is the provision of benefits over and above the costs associated with the burdens of research.

This paper provides some clarity for researchers and Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) members on the role that beneficence plays in discussions about human research ethics. While applying beneficence in human research does involve consideration of risks and benefits to participants, consideration should also extend to individuals, groups, and communities not directly involved in the research

This paper also provides both researchers and HREC members with practical guidance on the application of beneficence in the design, review and conduct of ethical human research. This guidance does not consider beneficence in isolation but places it within the context of the other principles and the National Statement as a whole.

Ian and Colin have produced an activity sheet to accompany this post. It can be found in the subscribers’ area (https://www.patreon.com/ahrecs). A subscription of only USD15/month (approx AUD21/month) provides access to a growing library of activity items, reflections on papers and news, and other resource items. At least two items are added to the library every month.  These are shared on a creative commons basis, so you are free to use them internally without otherwise engaging AHRECS. These items would ordinarily cost more than AUD500. So becoming an AHRECS patron not only helps AHRECS stay a constructive voice for change it’s a way to get access some terrific items for a great price.

Email gary.allen@ahrecs.com for further information.

Contributors:
Ian Pieper, AHRECS Consultant, Ian’s AHRECS profile
Colin Thomson AM, AHRECS Senior Consultant, colin.thomson@ahrecs.com | Colin’s AHRECS profile

This post may be cited as:
Pieper, I & Thomson C. (23  November 2018) Beneficence as a Principle in Human Research. Research Ethics Monthly. Retrieved from: https://ahrecs.com/human-research-ethics/beneficence-as-a-principle-in-human-research

We invite debate on issues raised by items we publish. However, we will only publish debate about the issues that the items raise and expect that all contributors model ethical and respectful practice.

Get access to some great resources (two examples included in this post) and support events like the Constructive Voices panels0

 

Every month we add at least two items to the subscribers’ area. These include vignettes and other resources to use in your internally delivered professional development workshops. They are shared on a creative commons basis, so a nominated person can download selected material, load it onto a local server and use it within his or her own institution multiple times.(as long as they adhere to the CC license). Included here is a example pf a discussion item. We are currently working on a library of 26+ research integrity short audio snippets that could be incorporated into your internal research integrity workshops (example also attached). A library of these will be available from the subscribers’ area.

In addition to getting access to these great material, patrons are helping AHRECS cover the costs of events like the Australian Code= and National Statement Constructive Voices panel discussions webinars.

A Gold sponsorship (which costs US15/month) provides access to all materials. Subscriptions are paid via PayPal. We can provide a payment receipt after each monthly payment.

Too become a patron visit https://www.patreon.com/ahrecs.

Feel free to contact us on patron@ahrecs.com to discuss.

Constructive Voices Online Panels – Australian Code session 08/11/2018 – Information for registrants0

 

To register for this event complete the short form at https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_nsbPkzfbT6S4YWzeEekKxA

Date Panel members Questions
Australian Code

 

8th November at 14:30 AEDT MODERATOR
Mark Israel
.
Jillian Barr 
(NHMRC)
.
Kandy White (Expert Working Committee and Director, Research Ethics and Integrity, Macquarie University)
.
Gary Allen (AHRECS)
What are the responsibilities of institutions for implementation of the new Code?
.
What steps should institutions take to meet these responsibilities?
.
What would you like to see happen over the next two years in relation to the Code and Guides?

 

New South Wales Thursday, 8 November at 2:30:00 pm AEDT UTC+11 hours
Western Australia Thursday, 8 November at 11:30:00 am AWST UTC+8 hours
Australian Capital Territory Thursday, 8 November at 2:30:00 pm AEDT UTC+11 hours
Queensland Thursday, 8 November at 1:30:00 pm AEST UTC+10 hours
South Australia Thursday, 8 November at 2:00:00 pm ACDT UTC+10:30 hours
Northern Territory Thursday, 8 November at 1:00:00 pm ACST UTC+9:30 hours
Victoria/Tasmania Thursday, 8 November at 2:30:00 pm AEDT UTC+11 hours
New Zealand Thursday, 8 November at 4:30:00 pm NZDT UTC+13 hours

.
The panels run for 30 minutes. Each panellist has been asked to speak for five minutes on a particular question.

The panels will include a discussion of how institutions and researchers might best respond to the new Australian Code. The discussion will be partly based on

1. Questions submitted in advance to ACburningquestion@ahrecs.com – please consider doing so now, as it may allow panellists to provide you with better prepared answers

2. questions raised through the Q&A feature on Zoom

You’ll need to make sure that you have Zoom as an app on your device or access to Zoom on the internet. Login details will be sent to registrants.

You’ll have access to a website page after the seminar where panellists may leave further materials. We’ll also be distributing a questionnaire asking you about what worked, what didn’t work and what you’d like future sessions to cover.

I look forward to you joining the audience online.

Prof. Mark Israel
Moderator

Constructive Voices Online Panels0

 

The NHMRC, ARC and Universities Australia have had a busy 2018. Among other things, there is a new Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research and the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research has been revised.

AHRECS will be running two free Constructive Voices online panel discussions in November. The first will consider the new Australian Code (8th November) and the second the recent changes to the National Statement (22nd November).

Our observations of Australian institutions indicate it is easy either to do too much in response and end up with excessive bureaucratic requirements that make research harder, or do too little and risk institutional exposure to regulatory censure. The panels will last for 30 minutes and will include briefings from representatives of the NHMRC, and discussion of how institutions and researchers might best respond to the changes.

If you are interested in joining the online audience, you can register here where you will also find out more about the panellists. Details about joining the Zoom meeting will be circulated near the time.

If you would like to ask a question of the panel members, you can use the Q&A feature within Zoom during the meeting. However, you are more likely to gain a more considered answer if you email your question in advance to ACburningquestion@ahrecs.com (for the Australian Code) or  NSburningquestion@ahrecs.com (for the National Statement).

Feel free to circulate this message to interested colleagues. We look forward to the possibility of seeing you there.

Topic Date Panel members Questions
Australian Code

 

8th November at 14:30 AEDT Jillian Barr (NHMRC)

Kandy White (Expert Working Committee and Director, Research Ethics and Integrity, Macquarie University)
Colin Thomson (AHRECS)

What are the responsibilities of institutions for implementation of the new Code?

What steps should institutions take to meet these responsibilities?

What would you like to see happen over the next two years in relation to the Code and Guides?

National Statement 

 

22nd November at 14:30 AEDT Jeremy Kenner (NHMRC)

Wendy Rogers (Chair National Statement Review Working Group, Macquarie University)

Pamela Henry (Chair of ECU, Human Research Ethics Committee)
Gary Allen (AHRECS)

What’s new?

How could researchers use and benefit from the changes?

How could HRECs use and benefit from the changes?