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Paper Topic:

Principles/Values Based Ethical Research

Assuring Ethical Research

Evaluating a study proposal

The success or failure of a study depends not only on the quality of the data obtained , but also upon maintaining high ethical standards concerning the treatment of the subjects . The authors of a study must consider carefully whether the study itself may do the subjects harm Patients must also be fully informed of any dangers before the study can proceed . The proposed blood pressure study may provide some societal benefit , but continued ethical review must take place to ensure that participant risk is

acceptably low

An ethical review of a study proposal may reveal that the potential risks may outweigh any information gained . In that case , the study must be discontinued . The decision is not always a simple one . In discussing the relationship between morality and professional ethics , Beauchamp highlights the difficulty

The term practical refers to the use of theory , argument and analysis

to examine moral problems , practices and policies in professions

institutions and public policy . Often no straightforward movement

from theory or principles to particular judgments is available in these

contexts (3

Ethical Concerns

There is a theoretical basis for testing the efficacy of self-monitoring against physician monitoring . According to Green and Krueter (1991 ) in Health Promotion Planning : an educational and environmental approach

The cumulative evidence from decades of research in education and

other fields tell us that the durability of cognitive and behavioral

changes depends on the degree of active rather than passive

participation of the learner (5

Despite that basis , the study design raises some ethical concerns Firstly , the washout period at the beginning of the study presents some potential problems . Removing patients from their prescribed medications can have effects that potentially mushroom into serious health problems

The hypertension medicine used in the study may or may not be effective for any individual patient . The indicated dose may also be too low or too high . In effect , the study results may be an indicator as to whether the medicine works , rather than the efficacy of self-testing . If the blood pressure becomes uncontrolled , this problem can spiral into other problems particularly in diabetics and others whose health depends on maintaining the best possible level of homeostasis . Since high blood pressure can be otherwise asymptomatic and the patient may be reluctant to withdraw from the study , meanwhile , potentially serious problems may be triggered

The group of patients who are only tested at the physician 's office may in fact , need more frequent testing . Physician 's readings can be inaccurate . Many patients have elevated blood pressure upon entering a doctor 's office , and are then checked multiple times by nurses and the physician until the BP normalizes . If only the reading from the consulting room is included , an inaccurate picture may be presented . In this case , the question is related more to study methods than to the ethics of the study itself

The role of the physician in this study raises more ethical questions The proposal states that the physician may...

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