Research Ethics in Violence against Women
The ethical issues involved in the early stages of designing the research are respected for persons, beneficence, and justice as contained in the Belmont report. Respect of person obliges the researcher to ensure autonomy in the decision-making process, voluntary participation, and protection of the vulnerable population (HHS.gov, 2019). The principle of beneficence demands minimization of harm while maximizing research benefits. Lastly, justice demands equitable distribution of burden and benefits of the study. An Ethical Review Board must approve the study.
Informed consent core ethical requirement for the ethical conduct of all human subject participants. Through informed consent, the participant’s right to autonomy, protection from harm, and the principle of Justice are guaranteed. There is also disclosure of all information, informed decision-making, and voluntary participation in research.
The steps I would take to protect the participant from harm is by ensuring the study is approved by Ethics Review Board, protecting participants’ safety and confidentiality and minimizing distress during interviews. I will conduct stakeholder analysis and make sure there are appropriate participants support and referral mechanisms (World Health Organization, 2016). Possible harm to the participants includes stakeholders e.g. the community, study design and study questions, and degree of data protection.
The participant will be protected from harm by conducting interviews in private places, ensuring participants anonymity and confidentiality, and protection of privacy. Importantly, I will uphold participants’ rights by administering informed consent, and providing appropriate support and referral. During the interview, I will continue to monitor participant safety and distress by observing both verbal and non-verbal clues (World Health Organization, 2016).
Information that will ensure informed and voluntary consent is the title of the study, study purpose, procedure, compensation, risks and benefit, safeguards, and contact person in case of any questions or concerns. The purpose of the research must name the institution conducting the study, right to the participant and withdraw from the study without penalty, and must state the duration of the study.
The study population is a vulnerable population and has diminished autonomy, and a higher risk of harm considering the traumatic nature of gender violence against women (World Health Organization, 2016). Since the study does not have any interventions in place, its associated risk outweighs possible benefits. Therefore, the study should not be conducted.
HHS.gov. (2019). The Belmont Report: Ethical and Guidelines for Protection of Human Subjects in Research. Retrieved from https://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/regulations-and-policy/belmont-report/read-the-belmont-report/index.html
World Health Organization. (2016). Ethical and safety recommendations for intervention research on violence against women. Building on Lessons from WHO’s Putting Women First: Ethical and Safety Recommendations for Research on Domestic Violence Against Women. Geneva: WHO.