The ethics of research : Part 4 : Safeguarding the scientist, protecting the participants

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 12
  • SDG 3
  • Abstract:

    Traditionally, medicine has been governed by the principle of Primum non nocere - “first do no harm”, which implies both doing good and avoiding doing harm. However, in medical research, this approach is far too simplistic. Today we need also to be attuned to the vast domain of related ethical issues. In ethics, as indeed in English, many terms and concepts are clearly confusing. They may seem similar, yet be different: is petrol flammable, or inflammable? Others question logic, dishonest and honest, so why not diseased and eased (instead of healthy)? Many terms are also highly debatable; if someone sets out to fail and actually succeeds, is that a success or a failure? This paper will explore some basic principles of medical ethics and then relate them to scientific research in terms of study design. These principles give guidance for the protection and safeguarding of researchers, participants (specifically dental patients), and the community.