Researchers should be aware of the moral and ethical issues affecting their subjects. Health researchers should “respect the needs, expectations, and rights of the targeted groups and communities” (Reason & Bradbury, 2001, p. 26). Ethical codes of practice ensure researchers are accountable. That being the case, researchers should be aware of the code of ethics governing their researches. According to Reason and Bradbury (2001), researchers should work with the community when conducting their research work. The benefits of the practice are immeasurable. The community should be involved in the research process in order to make the practice ethical and profitable.
According to Minkler (2004), Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) promotes the core standards of health development and training. The involvement of community partners is always beneficial. However, there are some ethical issues for researchers to consider especially when conducting their inquiries. This is necessary while working together with the members of the community. The researcher should ensure the community benefits from the research study. Researchers should also address the needs of the community (Reason & Bradbury, 2001). Some tensions might occur between the researcher and the community during the research process. This becomes a major ethical concern affecting the study process.
Racism and prejudice are critical challenges affecting different communities today. Every researcher should be aware of these challenges before undertaking his or her study. The researcher should use the best measures and strategies to deal with the challenges affecting the community. Some challenges such as “racism and hatred are real challenges in many communities today” (Reason & Bradbury, 2001, p. 95). The researcher should examine the existing codes of ethics in order to have an ethical research. Researchers should also consider the issue of participation whenever conducting their work (Crosby, DiClemente & Salazar, 2006). This will address the complaints and misunderstandings among different society members.
Every researcher should promote the society’s welfare. This explains why every researcher should be ready to incorporate different community partners whenever executing his or her study. The approach will ensure the research promotes “sharing, ownership, dissemination, and use of results for policy implementation” (Quinn, 2004, p. 921). It is necessary to address these ethical issues in order to make the practice successful (Quinn, 2004).
Scientists can use various strategies to ensure they carry out ethical studies. Every researcher should encourage different individuals from diverse backgrounds to be part of the study. The researcher should also conduct a community-driven study. The researchers should identify and deal with bias or self-deception. As well, the researchers should honor any kind of agreement with the community members. The researchers should always share information, ideas, resources, and data with the targeted community (Crosby et al., 2006). It will also be appropriate to mentor every person in the community. The researcher should always respect the needs, views, and expectations of every community member.
Researchers should also embrace the idea of social responsibility. For instance, health researchers should be ready to mitigate every social problem. The researchers are expected mentor the society through public education, research, and advocacy (Quinn, 2004). Any form of discrimination against the participants is unethical. Some forms of discrimination can be racial or religious. According to Reason & Bradbury (2001), researchers should always respect every human subject. It is appropriate for researchers to respect the autonomy, privacy, views, and dignity of the community. Researchers should “take proper precautions when handling delicate human subjects” (Quinn, 2004, p. 920). This explains why different Community Advisory Boards (CABs) offer new opportunities to address the issues affecting different communities.
Crosby, R., DiClemente, R., & Salazar, L. (2006). Research Methods in Health Promotion. New York: Wiley.
Minkler, M. (2004). Ethical challenges for the “outside” researcher in community-based participatory research. Health Education & Behavior, 31(6), 684-697.
Quinn, S. (2004). Protecting Human Subjects: the Role of Community Advisory Boards. American Journal of Public Health, 94(6), 918-922.
Reason, P., & Bradbury, H. (2001). The Handbook of Action Research: Participative Inquiry and Practice. London: Sage.