A walk in the park: a case study in research ethics.
ABSTRACT Can researchers, interested in novel ways to assess HIV seroprevalence among populations which are otherwise hidden, collect condoms that have been discarded on the ground in a public sex environment and test them for HIV? Researchers, who use other types of abandoned samples, such as discarded syringes, hair or saliva samples, or excess biological samples, confront similar issues. This review evaluates whether such abandoned tissues can be studied based on U.S. Code of Federal Regulations and literature on related issues including: research involving banked tissues, blinded seroprevalence studies, and property claims that individuals might make on the samples. It also addresses broader questions of potential for stigma and risk to individuals and communities. The article concludes that the research should be permitted legally because either it does not involve human subjects, or it satisfies the requirements for waiver of consent; and that the research should also be permitted because the ethical principal of avoiding harm to individuals is fully satisfied based on a careful reading of the lessons of the tissue bank, biological property rights, and blinded seroprevalence study debates, as well as a consideration of other potential harms that might be involved.
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ABSTRACT: While public administration research is thriving because of increased attention to social scientific rigor, lingering problems of methods and ethics remain. This article investigates the reporting of ethics approval within public administration publications. Beginning with an overview of ethics requirements regarding research with human participants, I turn to an examination of human participants protections for public administration research. Next, I present the findings of my analysis of articles published in the top five public administration journals over the period from 2000 to 2012, noting the incidences of ethics approval reporting as well as funding reporting. In explicating the importance of ethics reporting for public administration research, as it relates to replication, reputation, and vulnerable populations, I conclude with recommendations for increasing ethics approval reporting in public administration research.Science and Engineering Ethics 01/2014; 20(1):77-97. · 0.74 Impact Factor