Protect Participants


Nowadays human issues play an increasingly important role both in science and social life. Medical researches contribute significantly to the progress of medical sciences in general and allow inventing effective medicines and methods to cure diseases. Thus, medical researches participated by volunteers are of major importance. On the other hand, moral issues of the volunteers’ participation should be taken into account. The aim of this work is to determine the priorities to be followed in order to protect participants.

Priorities of the Participants’ Protection

Generally, the principles of the participants’ protection should be based on respect, trust, and honesty. Some of the basic priorities of the participants’ protection are stated below.

Voluntary Consent

This statement implies complete absence of the pressure on the participants from the supervising side. Researchers often define the obtaining of the voluntary informed consent as the key point of any medical research held. Voluntary consent generally involves the following issues: revelation, understanding, free will, and competence (Bosk, 2002).

No Obvious Alternative to the Experiment

This statement means that the knowledge gained as the result of an experiment (which is subject to generalize) cannot be obtained in any other way (Halpern, 2006).

Previous Animal Experiments

To be able to predict in general the reaction of a human organism towards a medicine or/and cure methodics the initial testing should be done on animals. Though the ethical aspects of animal testing are rather arguable, they provide a powerful support of clinical researches, especially the ones related to the study of cancer, diabetes, and heart diseases (Brody, 1998).

Avoidance of Unnecessary Physical and Mental Suffering and Injuries

The health condition and the quality of life of the participants should not get worse as the result of an experiment, and their lives should not be at risk, which, in particular, implies minimizing of the possible side effects and their timely recognition (Cina, Perper, 2010).

No Potential Disabling Injury

The participants should be guaranteed the safety of their lives and health. The experiments held should not endanger physical or mental health of the participants in any way (NIH Office of Extramural Research, 2008).

Risk Should Not Exceed the Importance

Nonconsensual medical experiments on human beings should be strictly prohibited. Thus, the need of researches to have access to human subjects has to be strictly rational (Annas, 1998).

Minimized Risks and Proper Preparation

A risk-benefit assessment of each experiment should be made primarily to conducting it. The risks taken by the participants should be justified by the humanity issues and society needs (Halpern, 2006).

Scientific Qualification of the Investigators

An investigator in the field of medicine has to be a competent and confident professional (Cina, Perper, 2010). He or she should be completely aware of their scope of responsibilities and be able to handle the whole investigation process successfully (which includes interaction with participants).

Liberty of Withdrawal

The right of a participant to withdraw from taking part in a research at any time is recognized in all national and …
Posted by: Wilber Mcmurtry

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