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Book

5 ETHICAL PRINCIPLES

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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