Ethics Protocols Are Designed Protect Groups From The Potential Harm And Risks Posed

786 Words Mar 11th, 2016 4 Pages
Ethics protocols are designed to protect groups from the potential harm and risks posed to them through the research process. Boards, like the Institutional Review Board (IRB), put in place a set of criteria to ensure the protection of people participating in research, particularly those from vulnerable groups. However, where lies the balance between conducting unbiased enlightening research and protecting the dependent?

Describing a group as vulnerable is not a given, but rather, is up for debate. Predetermining a group as being vulnerable can bias the inquiry and discourage research on the group to start with. This research may be a crucial insight on the lives of certain groups to promote equality, or even provide answers as to why certain groups are more susceptible to certain diseases than others. If you decide to do research on a group labeled vulnerable, the inability to ask some of the questions needed results in bias based on socialized views of a group. In her study of transgender people, Laurie Essig faced the problems of doing research with a group deemed vulnerable. She found that this framing set her participants up to be victims rather than speaking people. She wonders if there a point to conducting research that results in biased data.

When labeling large groups as vulnerable, the IRB fails to acknowledge that amongst these groups there are strong individuals that are more than capable of being subjected to the research. These groups of “vulnerable”…

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