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Identify ethical implications that may arise in the translation and generation of evidence.

Identify ethical implications that may arise in the translation and generation of evidence.

Identify ethical implications that may arise in the translation and generation of evidence.


DQ2 Applying Ethical Principles in Practice

Image of practitioner gathering information from her patient in an exam room. (Science Photo Library, n.d.)This activity will address the following module outcomes:

MO 1: Identify ethical implications that may arise in the translation and generation of evidence. (EPSLO 2, SLO 5)

MO 3: Describe various processes for protecting the rights of study participants. (EPSLO 2; SLO 5).

MO4: Analyze social, cultural, and political factors that may impact ethical research practice. (EPSLO 2; SLO 5)

The training you receive from The Research Clinic prepares you to uphold ethical principles in practice, but bear in mind that historically, evidence-based clinical management and quality improvement projects were often exempt from IRB approval. It was perceived there was no risk to human subjects, as there were no research participants. They were translating and implementing current evidence, not generating new evidence. However, any interaction with human subjects has the potential to violate ethical principles. It is now recognized that EBP and QI projects need to be reviewed to ensure they maintain ethical principles, although there are different considerations when evaluating an EBP or QI project versus a research proposal.


Based on your learning activities, respond to the following prompts:

Using your proposed project for The Investigation of a Clinical Problem Paper, discuss how you will address three of the following ethical principles:

Social or Scientific Value

Scientific Validity

Fair subject selection

Favorable risk-benefit ratio

Independent Review

Respect for potential and enrolled subjects

Informed consent (Melnyk & Fineout- Overholt, 2019, p. 694)

Then, describe how the nurses’ role in research has changed over time.

A number of deplorable abuses of human subjects in research, medical interventions without informed consent, experimentation in concentration camps in World War II, along with salutary advances in medicine and medical technology and societal changes, led to the rapid evolution of bioethics from one concerned about professional conduct and codes to its present status with an extensive scope that includes research ethics, public health ethics, organizational ethics, and clinical ethics.

Hereafter, the abbreviated term, ethics, will be used as I discuss the principles of clinical ethics and their application to clinical practice.

The Fundamental Principles of Ethics

Beneficence, non maleficence, autonomy, and justice constitute the 4 principles of ethics. The first 2 can be traced back to the time of Hippocrates “to help and do no harm,” while the latter 2 evolved later. Thus, in Percival’s book on ethics in early 1800s, the importance of keeping the patient’s best interest as a goal is stressed, while autonomy and justice were not discussed. However, with the passage of time, both autonomy and justice gained acceptance as important principles of ethics. In modern times, Beauchamp and Childress’ book on Principles of Biomedical Ethics is a classic for its exposition of these 4 principles [5] and their application, while also discussing alternative approaches.

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