Research Ethics Guidelines: A summary and a critical reading

This is a part of a lecture on ‘international’ research ethics guidelines presented by Dr Saleh Al-Ghamdi, currently a student in the Master of Bioethics (MBE) program, Prince Sattam bin Abdulaziz University. It is mostly in English.

Dr Alghamdi provides a good summary for some of the most known and used international guidelines. In the second part, Dr. Ghaiath Hussein presents a critical reading of some of these guidelines through answering these questions:

1- How international are the ‘international’ research ethics guidelines?

2- (How) Can we develop ‘national’ research ethics guidelines?

Are they patients or customers?

Can we treat patients as customers?

In this episode, I discuss the following points:
1- How the relationship between the doctors and the patients moved from trust-based to rights-based?
2- What pushed the healthcare system towards a business model?
3- What could be ethically problematic if we treat patients as customers?
Then, I offer a few suggestions on how to manage the situation where we can both maintain the quality of service without shifting the whole paradigm.

To do or not to do?

Bioethics tries to help researchers and practitioner to answer 3 main questions:
1- What should we do?
2- Why we should do it (and not the other alternative)?
3- How to do it?

Simplified mapping of philosophical schools

In this episode, we try to summarize the main philosophical schools of thought by deconstructing the act into 4 main components: The Act, the Doer of the act, the Results (consequences) of the act, and those Affected by the act.

You won the draw! Is it ethical to pay our research participants?

Given the overcrowded research market where many researchers are competing over the same participants, researchers are considering novel ways to recruit them

One way is to make some form of incentive, like draw on a prize, or a voucher, or a free visit to a clinic. In this video I discussed this practice from an ethical point of view.

I believe it is ethically problematic for a few reasons. First, it makes us in doubt about the voluntariness of the participant’s decision. Second, it creates an unfair and unbalanced competition among researchers. Thus, research participants will favour studies with bigger incentives, which will make the researchers make their incentives bigger and so on.

For the full discourse, please watch and leave your comments and views here or on YouTube.