Emphasis on Beneficence in Research with Vulnerable Populations: Developing an Assessment Tool for Researchers
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Other Titles:The Role of Beneficence in Humanitarian Research
Series/Report no.:PREA Conference. Ethics and Humanitarian Research: Generating Evidence Ethically. The Fawcett Event Center, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, March 25-26, 2019. Presentation. Session 2. Keynote 1.
Beneficence refers to the obligation the researcher has to maximize benefits for the individual participant in society. In research, the benefit can be of a potential nature, for example, "the greater good" potential of information that can transform policy or improve services. This indirect beneficence is widely accepted. This researcher believes that in vulnerable populations, we should consider the larger role beneficence has the potential to play. Whether beneficence is in the form of advocacy, direct services or incentives, researchers need to understand beneficence, its impact on research, and on study populations post-research. Understanding this better will help navigate the main challenge: How to derive the appropriate, non-coercive, ethical benefit for each unique project and each population. This study proposes to develop a tool that assesses, on a context and case basis, the appropriate form of beneficence for the study population involved. The study will conduct interviews with researchers and study participants in various contexts and populations to understand the positive and negative consequences of beneficence in research, factors that should be considered, and where beneficence should be placed on the research planning timeline. The findings will be put towards developing a tool researchers can use to guide them to finding the best form of beneficence for their study. Research and service opportunities in vulnerable populations are abundant, it is now time to find efficient ways to combine them for maximum benefit for the populations.
AUTHOR AFFILIATION: Veena Pillai, Dhi Consulting & Training, Malaysia, firstname.lastname@example.org
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