Ethical Principles of the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights

Prompt: Protection of human subject participants in nursing research – In Melnyk & Fineout-Overholt (2015) textbook Box 22.1 on page 516, select one (1) of the Fifteen Ethical Principles of the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights. Describe the importance of the selected principle to ethical research. In addition, describe how a researcher would ensure that this principle would be protected for participants of a research study.

Consent – Ethical Principles of the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights

The selected principle is consent. The consent ethical principles of the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights requires biological research participant to give informed consent on their acceptance to take part in a research. Informed consent refers to a legal and ethical research requirement for researches engaging human participants. This is a process in which a participant is briefed about all important trial aspects, to be able make decision after assessing trial aspects,  and willingly or voluntarily confirms the desire to take part in the clinical trial (Nijhawan et al., 2013).

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The main importance of informed consent is that it promote respect of individual right to make independent and well thought decision regarding their participation in a research. This means, one cannot be forced to take part in a research he or she is not willing to participate in, knowingly or unknowingly. Signing of consent also involve getting all information regarding participants rights that the researcher must observes. It thus ensures that research participants have right to privacy, confidentiality, and right to withdraw from the research at any time. This ensures that the participants’ rights are protected, for a research to remain viable, and that a research is done with high level of respect to the research participants. This is normally done to reduce negative effect of participation to the participants, especially what can be experienced if the collected data is leaked to a third party who can linked the data to particular participants. This in a way to ensure that there are always people willing to take part in biotechnology researches, since participants rights are protected (Ochieng, 2012).

The researcher should ensure that the participant consent is protected by ensuring that all his or her research participants sign their informed consent form, after reading and understand its content. The researcher should also consider explaining some aspects in depth to ensure every participant understand the process they are about to be subjected into, the risks and benefits and all anticipated events. This will ensure that only those ready to take the risk participate. The researcher should also ensure that participants know that they can quite when they feel it is necessary, and that participation in totally voluntary. Offering them documents written in simple language that they can understand plays a great role in protecting this principle (Nijhawan et al., 2013).

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