The ethics of participating in research

Annette J Braunack-Mayer
Med J Aust 2002; 177 (9): . || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2002.tb04912.x
Published online: 4 November 2002

Simple statements of risks and benefits may not reveal the complexity of human responses to research participation

In this issue of the Journal, Scott and colleagues (page 507) report on a retrospective study of family members' experience of participation in a previous study following their child's diagnosis with Ewing's sarcoma.1 The research is important because it casts empirical light on an ethical issue often debated in human research ethics committee meetings: how does research affect those who participate in it? Ethics committees can be very cautious about granting approval for research into sensitive areas because of concern about the impact on research participants.

  • Annette J Braunack-Mayer

  • Department of Public Health, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA.



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