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PSYB01H3 (585)
Chapter 3

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University of Toronto Scarborough
David Nussbaum

Chapter 3 Ethics in behavior research Historical background 1. Nuremberg war crime trials a. Horrific medical experiments conducted by nazi doctors in the name of science 2. Tuskegee syphilis study a. Researchers paid to study the ‘natural’ course of syphilis b. Patients were not told that they had this disease 3. Creation of National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research a. 1979 Belmont Report i. Three basic ethical principles for the protection of human subjects 1. Respect for persons a. Treating persons as autonomous agents and protecting those with diminished autonomy 2. Beneficence a. Minimizing possible harms and maximizing benefits 3. Justice a. Distributing benefits and risks of research fairly 4. 1991 Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects a. Specific regulations adopted from the Belmont Report 5. Federal regulations require every institution that seeks federal funding for biomedical or behavioral research on human subjects have an institutional review board (IRB) a. IRB reviews research proposals for ethical standards b. Requires IRB to have members with diverse backgrounds c. Office for Protection from Research Risks monitors the IRBs 6. APA developing ethics code in 1938 a. Formal ethics code in 1947 b. Published code in 1953 c. Has since been revised 9 times Ethical principles 1. 2002 APA ethics code (most recent version) a. Contains 151 enforceable ethical standards b. Contains 5 general principles i. Consistent with the 3 principles of the Belmont Report ii. Beneficence and Nonmaleficence iii. Fidelity and Responsibility iv. Integrity v. Justice vi. Respect for People’s Rights and Dignity 2. Violation of APA code can be investigated by the APA Ethics Committee and lead to sanctions from reprimand to expulsion 3. Discussion of ethical standards for research under four headings that reflect the 5 APA principles a. To achieve valid results b. To maintain professional integrity c. To protect research subjects d. To encourage appropriate application i. Ask yourself 1. Do these standards capture the intent of the 5 general principles? 2. Do these standards help to implement any other general principles? Beneficence and nonmaleficence 1. Seek no harm / minimize harm 2. Safeguard welfare and rights of those they interact with 3. Welfare of animal subjects 4. Strive to be aware of possible effect of own physical and mental health on their ability to help those with whom they work Fidelity and responsibility 1. Establish trust 2. Uphold professi
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