Ethicalissues are classic concerns in every aspect of human life. Every religions andraces put ethics as one of the most critical questions in daily life. And whyis that? Because without ethics, there in neither right or wrong in this world.With that in mind, ethics do also plays an important role in research. Ethicsdefines what is okay and what is not. Authentication, fabrication,confidentiality, plagiarism, informed consent and many more are amongcompulsory term when discussing ethics considerations in every single researchon earth. Those ethical issues inevitably will result whether the research willremain as an academic product, or being thrown away as trash. Informedconsent has a few different meanings, depends on what fields it is referred.
For example, a healthcare provider such as nurses or doctor needs the patient’sconsent prior to any treatment. The patient has the rights to be explained insuch detail what procedure the doctor is going to take, and the risks thatmight appear after that particular procedure. Meanwhile, an employer may needthe consent from their employees before giving them any tasks.
A researcher, onthe other hand, need the participants or subjects signing the consent form beforeenrolling them into any clinical trial. The consent form, in the easiest way tobe understands, is created to ensure the subjects or participants to have ampleinformation about the following procedure to be joined and make the best,well-informed decision. Let us zoomin and take a look in detail, how does informed consent in research using humansubject really work. For better understanding, take the four evergreen issuesregarding this topic – purposes of the research, risks, participant’s rights,and confidentiality. The upmost issues should be revolving about the research’spurposes. At the very beginning, the researchers who conduct the research musthave clear aims and how the research will be end.
Next, the researcher mustadopt the best way to explain those visions unto the participants. Besidesthat, among others things that should be clarified are the benefit of theresearch to the community and mankind.Next issueis the research’s risks. Risk, by definition, is having the possibility ofacquiring or losing something of worthy. Oxford English dictionary define riskas exposure towards any harm, damage, or any form of unwanted situations, or acircumstance involving such possibility. Some risks are well foreseen, whilesome are unanticipated. In a research using human subjects, the risk could beanything related to the participants. The risk could be in the form ofphysical, health, emotional and also financial.
The participants must fully comprehendall the risks that they might be undergone pre-or post-research period. Withonly that, the risk assessment and analysis could be done by participants priorto signing the informed consent. Participantsmust also recognize and understand their rights as a participant. Those rightsact as the ultimate defender for the participants in the event of uprisingrisky or unwanted situations. For example, the participants have the rights tokeep a copy of informed consent sign at the beginning of the research.
Furthermore, participants could demand that all the procedure to be written indetail within the informed consent. Participants too, have the freedoms towithdraw from the research (following the agreed withdrawal procedure ofresearch). Besides that, some real cases arose in the past, when the participantsare promised with certain amount of money as a bonus, but turn up with nothingat all. With the rights, this should not be happening.
Anothermajor concern in research using human subjects is about the confidentiality.Usually, the participants have to fill in a lot of personnel information totake part in a research. Names, address, age and identification card are themost common information to be asked, and all of this is very sensitiveinformation. In some research might as well ask about the weight, height,preferences and many more.
Be it what kind information, researcher must havethe system to ensure all of them to be kept as private as possible. Revealingany of those materials could break the trust and ethical principles inresearch.