Professional Ethics and Laws in Behavioral Term Paper

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PROFESSIONAL ETHICS & LAWS in BEHAVIORAL & BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH

Ethics Assignment 3: Professional Ethics & Laws in Behavioral and Biomedical Research

The Tuskegee Syphilis Study of 1932-1972 gave rise to the Belmont report. This report was intended to promote human subjects protection in behavioral and biomedical research. The Belmont report provided a framework, which could be used by others when resolving ethical problems that arise from any research which involves human subjects. The report identifies the basic ethical principles that should govern research involving humans.

The three basic principles of ethics that the report identified include

Respect. The subjects who will be taking part in the research should voluntarily enter into the research. The subjects should be given adequate information regarding the research. All subjects taking part in the research should be treated with respect and courtesy at all times. The researcher is ought to be honest when conducting the research and they should not disguise themselves.

2. Beneficence. The researcher should ensure that the human subjects are treated ethically by protecting the subjects from harm, respecting the subjects decisions, and securing their well-being. The researcher should not harm any of the subjects regardless of the benefits the research might have on others. Researchers are required to learn how to benefit their patients but for them to learn this they may be required to expose persons to risk.

3. Justice. Any research should be for the benefit of all people and not just a few that can afford. The research subjects should be scrutinized before the research begins. This will ensure that the research involves a wide array of subjects, and not just subjects who are easily available because of their social status, or ethnicity. The researcher should ensure that they do not exploit any of the subjects while conducting the research. The Tuskegee syphilis study of the 1940's, used rural black men for the study of the untreated disease course, yet the disease was not confined to only that population.

Ethical and Legal Issues Involved in Conducting Psychological Research

Competence is required in all psychological testing. This competence should be demonstrated by training, formal education, and experience. It cannot be merely asserted. The Washington State (2003)

postulates that, "to ensure a patient's legal rights are observed, the subject should be given information regarding the clinical trial" (p.5). The subject will then agree to partake in the clinical trial after understanding the information provided. The subject will have to give their informed consent indicating they are willing to take part in the study. The subject will be given the name, contents, correct information, intended use of the medicine, side effects, and success rate. According to the American Psychological Association (2010)

"the researcher should ask questions to ensure that the subjects have understood all the information" (p.10).

The Washington State (2003)

states, the policy on the protection of human beings participating in a research applies to any research that is conducted under the federal wide assurances terms. This policy has been based on the current federal regulations (Part 46, 45 CFR). It is applicable in Washington State statutes, state agency policies, and regulations. All research conducted in human subjects, must be approved, and reviewed by the state review board, or any other designated review board. (p. 4)

Tuskegee syphilis study

This study radically changed the ethical viewpoints and medical care. The National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research (1979)

says, "there was shock to the families of 600 African-American's who participated in the study. The study started as a Syphilis scientific investigation, but, the researchers deviated from the accepted practice" (p.3).

Tuskegee Experiment: Brunner (n.d)

states, "the researchers believed that hereditarily black people were different from white people, and their bodies reacted differently from those of European-American's to syphilis" (para, 2). These were some of the reasons why the research was allowed to continue, though it was completely unethical. The research was conducted for a long period of time.

The Tuskegee Experiment: Brunner (n.d)

says, the participants were not informed of the experiments nature. This was done to ensure they would cooperate. The participants were a disadvantaged lot and this fact made it easy for them to be manipulated. The participants were pleased because they would receive medical care as none of them had ever visited a doctor. These participants became the subjects for a long non-therapeutic experiment conducted on humans. (para, 5)

Black people were stereotypically thought of negatively, even after the end of the slavery period. The Tuskegee study showed that black people were inferior, and they were not equal to white people. This reason made the researchers conduct unethical studies using the black people. Unintentional racists must be challenged to modify their attitudes and behaviors. This will ensure that researchers do not discriminate against a subject based on racialism.

Milgram study

According to Milgram (1963)

, "it transpired that the researchers for the Milgram study were following orders. The researchers had gone against their own viewpoints of personal ethics. The study begun in 1963 and was approved by Yale University. A grant from the National Science Foundation supported the research. Initially the study subjects were volunteers, and the subjects were paid $4" (p. 371). With the payment for showing up, the subjects were no longer voluntary but, rather they became employees. The subjects would endure all manner of tests, and pain for them to be paid.

Milgram Study: The Milgram Study: Milgram (1963)

stated, "the study involved the subjects been given a severe electrical shock. The study intended to test the effects of nervous system. The results were different for different subjects. Some refused to provide further answers and others laughed nervously. The shock was believed to have momentary effect on the subjects" (p. 378).

The study showed that people will follow orders from their superiors, despite of these orders been against the person's dictates of conscience. Majority of scientists considered the experiments carried out in the Milgram study to be immoral and physically and psychologically harmful. There were other scientist who thought the tests could lead to permanent damage.

Laws Involved in Conducting Psychological Research to Existing Research

Human Rights (n.d)

defines "any freedom established by international agreements or customs which impose on all nations standards of conduct as Human Rights" (para 1). These rights are different from civil liberties. This definition is basically stating that every human being has a right to live in the world fairly. The major difference between ethics and laws is that ethics are a person's own conscience of right and wrong, whereas laws are government enforced.

Power has corrupted people so much, and this has made them not follow the basic human relationship rule. The Tuskegee and Milgram Study are both unethical, and they go against human rights. Professional and client relationships may not be equal, but the relationship should adhere to ethical guidelines and respects the rights of the clients. Psychologists should protect and respect civil and human rights. They should follow strict guidelines when conducting their teaching, research, and publication. The reason for any study is to improve on human study, and it should be conducted in strict ethical, cultural, and legal laws.

The American Psychological Association (2010)

postulates "Taking care of their subjects and not causing them any harm is what Psychologists strive for. In a psychologist's professional action, they will seek to safeguard the rights and welfare of their research subjects. In case any conflicts arise, the psychologists will try to resolve them in responsible and fashionable manner which minimizes harm to the subjects. (p.5)

The Code of Federal Regulations (2009)

argues, "using different subjects or activities will create a different hypothesis." There are researches that will benefit human beings immediately, while others will enlarge the understanding in the future. All research involving human subjects should be conducted carefully to ensure that it follows the ethical code of conduct and the applicable laws. Research that can endanger a subject's life should be discontinued immediately.

Ethical factors

To ensure that ethics is followed, the researcher should obtain consent from the subject. This consent will allow the researcher to conduct the specified study on the subject without fear of having violated the subject's rights. The main reason researchers have to obtain approval from their subjects is because of moral concerns regarding human rights in the American Profession as described in the Belmont report. There are many risks and anguish that have faced research conducted on human subjects. It is only after a scandal has occurred that human subject protection is initiated.

The Code of Federal Regulations (2009)

, states, if a research is not being conducted in the approved manner, the IRB is authorized to terminate, or suspend the research. There will be a statement providing reasons for IRB's action released to accompany the suspension or termination. This statement will be communicated to the appropriate officials, department agency, and the researcher. (p. 45).

Cultural factors

The studies conducted did not adhere to cultural… [end of preview; READ MORE]

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