The ethics of suicide research: the views of ethics committee members

Lakeman, Richard, and Fitzgerald, Mary (2009) The ethics of suicide research: the views of ethics committee members. Crisis, 30 (1). pp. 13-19.

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Abstract

Background: Good quality, ethically sound research is needed in order to better understand, appropriately respond to, and reduce the incidence of suicide. There is, however, a lack of clarity around the nature of ethical problems associated with suicide research and how to resolve them. This is a formidable challenge for ethics committee members in approving and monitoring research.

Aims: To describe the views that members of health research ethics committee hold regarding ethical problems and ethical practice in research involving people who are, or who have been, suicidal.

Methods: Ethics committee members were invited to complete an online survey addressing the risks, benefits, and ethical problems associated with suicide research. Findings were aggregated into themes using an inductive form of content analysis.

Results: Concerns of ethics committees centered on accessing the population, potential harm to participants or the researcher, researcher competency, maintaining confidentiality, providing support to participants, and responding sensitively to the needs of family.

Conclusions: Ethical research involving suicidal people requires both procedures to protect participants, and consideration of ethics as an ongoing negotiated process. The findings of this research provide a snapshot of views held by a number of ethics committee members.

Item ID: 8207
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: suicide, research, ethics, research ethics, ethical review
ISSN: 2151-2396
Date Deposited: 16 Feb 2010 00:34
FoR Codes: 22 PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES > 2201 Applied Ethics > 220106 Medical Ethics @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920299 Health and Support Services not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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