Ethical Considerations of Research
The researcher violated the ethical requirement for parental consent when conducting a study with a subject of minority age. Informed consent is a central principle in ethical medical research because it guarantees that researchers only recruit willing participants. For studies that involve below the legal adult age, parental guidance is required because it is expected that adults such as parents and guardians have the capacity to decide what is best for the child’s welfare.
The second ethical issue was that the researcher did not leave any verifiable documents to show the procedures he had used on the patient. Considering that part of the study involved drawing blood, the researcher should have documented the procedure and left the medical officer in charge of the psychiatric unit with some official report on what was done. This is important for administrative and medical purposes (Newhouse, Dearholt, Polt, Pugh, & White 2007)
. There are no express regulations for researchers who work with abused youths. Abused adolescents present additional challenges for researchers because in some instances parents are the perpetrators of abuse. If the consent of such parents is sought, they most certainly will object to the study. The nurse should have examined the requirements of the study and measured it against the abused patient’s mental capacity (Cartwright & Hickman, 2007). Secondly, the nurse should have demanded documentation from the researcher to ensure that there were official records of the researcher, the study questions and the procedures employed.
As the nurse in charge, I would recommend a facility based bill of rights that will provide guidelines for permitting researchers to conduct their studies within the psychiatric unit (Newhouse, et al, 2007). The bill of rights would protect the young patients and ensure that they are not subjected to any questions or procedures that may jeopardize their mental health. Secondly, it will ensure that all researchers follow a clearly laid down vetting process that will ensure that the unit is fully aware of what the researchers will do with the subjects.