(Argument of Definition)Japan is a western country - Essay Example

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Ethical issues assist in laying down the expected practices in carrying out a given task. In relation to research, ethics govern the expected practices…
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(Argument of Definition)Japan is a western country
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ETHICAL ISSUES IN RESEARCH Ethical Issues in Research In carrying out research, it is important to consider issues thatare regarded morally upright in relation to study subjects. Ethical issues assist in laying down the expected practices in carrying out a given task. In relation to research, ethics govern the expected practices that are considered right in the course of research. Since research involves interactions with study subjects, ethical issues relating to research come in handy to ensure fair treatment of study subjects. Research ethics stipulate acceptable and appropriate ways of handling study subjects. In medicine, research mainly involves interactions with living things such as human subjects and therefore there is great need to have knowledge of ethical issues in medical research. This ensures that study subjects are treated well and that no harm begets them in the course of a study.
When dealing with human subjects, researchers should make sure that risk levels are minimal to prevent any harm. Human subjects, should be handled like normal human beings and not just like mere study subjects. In a bid to reduce risk levels, federal laws have clauses protecting human subjects for the federal funded projects. The clauses insist that risk levels should be equivalent to results expected (Brown, Anderson, Chervin, Kushida, Lewin, Malow, Redline, and Goldman, 2011, p.1). This implies that study subjects should not be exposed to extremely high risks for research projects that only have little significance. In a bid to prevent harm to human subjects, use of placebos is allowed under special conditions. Use of placebos should not be used for all studies but only to the studies that have no proven alternative study approach.
However, in some cases the risk levels may pose a challenge to determine and are therefore not known. This implies that there is no certainty of the risks involved for that particular study. In such a scenario use of placebos may be recommended in order to reduce harm chances. However, this does not mean that placebos are always the chosen option in all such cases. Other methods such as use of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) in disease processes associated with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) may be preferred depending on the nature of the study. Nevertheless, this methods are followed by strict instructions that involve keeping human subjects from participating in all activities that pose risks. For example, under CPAP, human subjects at high risks of car crashes due to sleepiness may be advised not to drive when feeling even slightly sleepy. This involves teaching study subjects on symptoms of sleepiness to enable them to know when they feel sleepy.
In a bid to keep up with ethical issues in research, researchers should ensure that they first get the consent of study subjects before beginning research processes. All the possible outcomes including risks should be stipulated to the study subject. Researchers should ensure that study subjects fully understand the implications of the study procedure in play. This may involve preventing any chances of confusing the study subject. For instance, the Declaration of Helsinki insists that only people without ties to the study subject should discuss the research and get consent. This is in a bid to avoid any confusion that may arise due existence of ties. For instance, a patient may confuse a research for a treatment or normal checkup.
Periods of time spent in a research should also be considered. Time periods allocated to a research should match the risk levels involved. In some research studies, the more the exposure the higher the risk of harming the study subjects. Delayed treatments that may pose risks should only be considered for research studies with great benefits. However, courses of action that involve shorter time periods should be considered. For instance, “limiting the period of randomized intervention should reduce potential risks of OSA non-treatment” (Brown, et al. 2011, p.4). This implies that alternative measures where applicable may help to reduce risk levels.
In undertaking a research, availability of necessary resources should be considered to ensure that no harm arises due lack of resources. This is mainly applicable for research studies that involve interactions with new environments and areas away from main study centers. Lack of resources may result to inability to meet the number of screenings required to ensure safety of study subjects. Brown, et al. argues that such cases may lead to subject coercion in an effort by the subjects to seek alternative health care (2011, p.4). Such scenarios have led to acceptance of use of placebos even when there is an established intervention. However this is not without controversies as some argue that this is not ethical. Nevertheless, the core goal is to make sure that researchers should ensure availability of required resources before undertaking a research.
Researchers should ensure that only the necessary proportions are subjected to studies. This means that too large numbers should be avoided where possible to prevent the risk of harming many people unnecessarily. This implies that there is need to do calculations on numbers of subjects necessary before undertaking research. These calculations do not only aid in reducing the sample numbers but also in ensuring that sample numbers are enough in order to increase chances of a fruitful research. Maintaining the right numbers of subjects ensure that benefit-risk ratio is maximized. To ensure that the research is in compliance with ethical and governing principles of medical research, an oversight committee to oversee the research is necessary.
Although the authors of the reference article have based their discussion on a case study of clinical trial in OSA, they have succeeded in tackling various ethical issues that should be considered. Some of the ethical issues that should be considered include ensuring minimal risks, considering alternative measures, allocating moderate time periods, getting consent of human subjects, ensuring availability of all necessary resources, and ensuring the right proportions. The authors have also discussed some possible measures to undertake to ensure ethics are observed. Some of the measures suggested include creating an oversight body to oversee the research. Applying the issues discussed would surely improve research studies especially in medicine. The ethical issues identified can be applied in many other areas of research even as efforts to improve science continue.
However, some emerging issues such as those regarding use of placebos need to be addressed and streamlined in a bid to improve medical research. Also matters involving privacy of human subjects should be considered. Some human subjects request for anonymity and it would be in order to consider the requests. In cases where human subjects are children, it is ethically right to get proper consent from the guardians. Comfort of human subjects should also be considered. Human subjects should feel comfortable in the course of the study and any distress arising from the research should be addressed adequately.
Brown, D.L., Anderson, C.S., Chervin, R.D., Kushida, C.A., Lewin, L.D., Malow, B.A., … Goldman, E.B. (2011). Ethical issues in the conduct of clinical trials in Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, 7.1, 103-108. Read More
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