Gerry Kent

This chapter is designed to aid understanding of the underlying principles and issues involved in conducting research in an ethical manner. These principles apply to everyone in a wide variety of settings. Not only do they help to make decisions about research issues, but they also serve as a general guide for living in an ethical and responsible way. The aims of this chapter are (a) to provide a brief introduction to moral theory and (b) to illustrate how these principles apply to research. A fuller discussion of the issues involved can be found in Beauchamp and Childress (1994). It is possible to design a scientifically sound piece of research which could contribute substantially to human welfare and to science itself. This research could, for example, lead to a better understanding of a socially important issue, such as the transmission of the HIV virus, or could lead to the development ...

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