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Ethical Issues Relating to Research in Health & Social Care Sectors

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In this assignment I will be discussing the ethical issues that are related in health and social care sectors. I will be explaining what the ethical principles are, ethical issues are and what the implications of ethics are.Ethical principles There are many principles that individuals can carry out in their research such as protection from harm this means that anyone who is conducting an experiment for research that could be taken place they should be protected from any danger or harm that can occur. This links to the legislation which is the human rights act which lets individuals defend their rights in the Uk and it allows the public to be treated equally with fairness, dignity and respect. It protects and gives individuals human rights which are the right to life, freedom from torture. freedom from slavery, right to a fair trial, freedom of speech, freedom of thought, conscience and religion, freedom of movement etc.

Another principle is informed consent (voluntary) this means the individual has given their consent before getting involved in any experiment for research this is to make sure they agree that everything is happening from their own will and nobody is forcing them. Confidentiality is a ethical principle this means that information should be kept private and not shared with others without the individuals permission this links to the data protection act which sets up rules that individuals need to follow these are that information about someone should be fairly and lawfully processed, processed for limited purposes, adequate, relevant and not excessive, accurate, not kept for longer than is necessary, processed in line with your rights, secure and not transferred to other countries without adequate protection.

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Justice is a principle which is a concept of moral rightness based on ethics, rationality, law, natural law, religion, or equity. It is also the act of being fair. A code of practice is a set of written rules which explains how people working in a work place or profession should behave. An example of this is dress code so how people in the workplace should dress etc. Policies and procedures are rules, guidelines and principles which are set by an organization to reach its long-term goals and typically published in a booklet so its accessible. Policies are designed to set boundaries for employers and employees this is to influence all actions and decisions made in the workplace. Procedures are methods that are employed to express policies in action in day-to-day operations of the organization. Policies and procedures can link to cancer as the government have set rules and guidelines to reduce the risk of cancer which are increasing the prices of energy drinks which could persuade less people to buy them, they encourage people to smoke less, they reduce harmful drinks, reducing obesity and improving diet. They also encourage people to protect their skin from the sun to avoid skin cancer and they encourage young people to get vaccinated.

Ethical issues and research

Human rights are basic rights and freedoms that everyone is entitled to from birth until death and they apply to everyone no matter how they choose to live life, where they are from and what they believe in. These basic rights can sometimes be restricted if someone has broken the law but they usually shouldn’t be taken away. The human rights act 1998 protect individuals in Britain’s human rights. The values that are protected by law are values such as respect, equality, independence, fairness and equality. An example of an individual’s human rights being protected is if a police officer wants to check if an individual is carrying something they will check them from head to toe the individual has the right to ask for a female officer or a male office to check them which will mean that they are protecting their dignity.

The role of media is to find information and research about many sources for example celebrities, news etc. to show the audience and public. There are different roles in media there are people who control news and decide what should get aired or not. There are people in the media who add information to make the content of the story more interesting an example of this could be news about a celebrity couple getting divorce but the media adds false information about reasons why they are getting divorced which hasn’t been confirmed by them or people close to them. Also the media acts like a protector or as an investigator regarding events that might have an impact on your life. An example would be an investigation into government corruption and how that corruption has affected money or income.

The use of data is when people collect information from companies and consultants to carry out research and compare research and publish them on tables. An example of this is in a GP surgery they collect data about patients, staff to monitor progress etc. Also data is used by professionals to make estimates of future developments, carry out other statistical investigations and research that may be useful to actuaries about the conduct of long-term assurance, annuity and pension business, of sickness and related insurances and of self-administered pension schemes. Data misuse is when data is used inappropriately and misuse of information is governed by laws and cyber security policy even though these laws are put in place data is still misused. An example of this is putting a receptionist sharing private information about patients to others without the patient knowing about it and without their permission.

Vulnerability of client groups are elderly people, children, pregnant women and people who are ill are vulnerable when a disaster happens and they take quite a high share of the disease burden related with emergencies.Implications of research The NIHR provides a health research system which is commissioned by NHS which supports individuals who work in global facilities who conduct research that focuses on the public and patients needs they do this by establishing the NHS as a place where research is excellent they do this by developing the best professionals to carry out research based on people. Commission research focuses on improving health care. They strengthen systems for research managements and they Increase the opportunities for patients and the public to participate in, and benefit from, research. Promote and protect the interests of patients and the public in health research. Maximise the research potential of the NHS to contribute to the economic growth of the country through the life sciences industry.

The NIHR works in partnership with many services like the public health NHS and it is funded by the government and the academic and third sectors and industry. Authentic is when something is genuine and represents the idea effectively an example of this is knowing if the media have shown an article that is genuine and isn’t a copy of something else or isn’t false information. The authenticity of research can be ensured by references from professionals an author and date of a website or article for example if an individual wants to use research in their assignment they could ensure its authentic by looking at who its written by and getting the information from a reliable website and not Wikipedia as many people are able to write information on it and its not done by professionals. Validity refers to how well a scientific test or piece of research measures what it sets out to, or how well it reflects the reality it claims to represent. An example of this could be someone carrying out an experiment that shows that ice doesn’t dissolve in room temperature after a while this information is not correct, and it doesn’t reflect on reality.

Reliability is a way of looking at the quality of data and assessing the results to check if the data is considered valid and reliable. An example of this could be Wikipedia it isn’t always reliable because many different people write information about a topic and we don’t know if the information found on there is correct or not. Key reports have an influence and effect on research as we don’t know if they are reliable or not some reports might contain false information that are not written by professionals for example a report if a student uses a report made by any individual and not a professional they don’t know if the information is correct but they still use the report as evidence in their assignment there could be a chance they fail the assignment as they used information that is not reliable. Access to information is who can look at the information, so they can read it, analyse it etc. The people who should be able access the findings to my research are teachers, examiners etc. as they need to look at the research to access it and see if its correct and reliable. 3 articles The article about “patients should not be guinea pigs” links to autonomy which is the ability of patients to make their own decisions.

The article shows that there was a controversial trial carried out where babies were used on ventilators without permission from their parents. The hospital that conducted this research was criticised as they didn’t keep parents informed and they did the experiment without consent. A professor had said “I believe this report will create a foundation for successful research in the NHS, while increasing the confidence of patients that research is done properly and that people are not being used as guinea pigs” but many people still didn’t have confidence in the process. This shows autonomy as there is freedom of control and influence.

Another article is “Two drug trial men critically ill” this links to safety which is the condition of being protected from or unlikely to cause danger, risk, or injury. The article shows that two men who took part in a clinical drugs trial are critically ill this means that their right to not being harmed wasn’t taken care of as the drug wasn’t safe for them to take. Some reactions shown by people are “These are ordinary health people who have been involved in a clinical trial and unfortunately everything seems to have gone wrong”. This shows that many people believe that the safety of these men were not taken care of. The article “half price IVF offered for eggs” links to beneficence which is a kind act for others. The article shows women in the north of England are being offered half-price fertility treatment if they donate some of their eggs to medical research. This controversial scheme of giving eggs is being funded by the medical research council (MRC).


In this assignment I have discussed the ethical issues that are related in health and social care sectors. I have explained what the ethical principles are, ethical issues are and what the implications of ethics are.


  1. Author Equality human rights Date 2018
  2. Author poliscinews Date 2018
  3. Author observeitDate 2018
  4. Author actuariesDate 2018
  5. Author NIHRDate 2018
  6. Author business dictionary Date 2018
  7. Author BBCDate 2018
  8. Author BBCDate 2018 BBC/Date 2018


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