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Real-world ethics and nursing research

By M Johnson


In this paper I argue that nursing research is losing its way. There are a number of ways in which this is happening; for example, people are spending much more time writing about methodology than getting on with the research itself and the reporting of discovery. Here, I address the extent to which we are debilitating the research enterprise through what passes as ‘ethics’ and ‘governance’. I will refer to examples from nursing and related research to illustrate the gradual development of greater concern for the well-being of research participants and the prevention of harm. I will go on to illustrate how, in comparison to the search for knowledge in the wider world, the health professions (and in the UK nurses in particular) are making research more difficult to execute than it needs to be. In the development of defensive rules and procedures we have somehow forgotten exactly from what harms we are protecting our patients, students and staff. For those looking for a theoretical background to my views, they are, in essence, consequential, and I hope to show that with a harms and benefits approach we could bring much common sense to the critical appraisal of previous research and the approval and conduct of nursing research now and in the future

Topics: RT, R1, BJ, health_and_wellbeing, other
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Year: 2004
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