O'Mathuna DP.: Conducting research in the aftermath of disasters: Ethical considerations.
Article Type: Brief article
Subject: Disaster victims (Ethical aspects)
Disaster victims (Analysis)
Graduate students (Ethical aspects)
Graduate students (Analysis)
Pub Date: 07/01/2011
Publication: Name: IRB: Ethics & Human Research Publisher: Hastings Center Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2011 Hastings Center ISSN: 0193-7758
Issue: Date: July-August, 2011 Source Volume: 33 Source Issue: 4
Topic: Event Code: 290 Public affairs Advertising Code: 91 Ethics
Geographic: Geographic Scope: United States Geographic Code: 1USA United States
Accession Number: 268311516
Full Text: O'Mathuna DP. Conducting research in the aftermath of disasters: Ethical considerations. Journal of Evidence-Based Medicine 2010;3:65-75. * In this article O'Mathuna discusses features of disaster research that may pose unique ethical challenges. These may vary depending on the type of disaster--such as natural disaster, war, or terrorist attack--and the location in which it occurred. Researchers and IRBs need to be aware of and respond to the ways in which disaster victims may be uniquely vulnerable. For example, those living in the aftermath of a disaster may receive several requests to participate in research. Moreover, they may incorrectly think that their receipt of humanitarian aid depends on their participation in research. Conducting research in the wake of a disaster may also pose dangers to the researcher. IRBs need to ensure that researchers--especially graduate students and junior faculty--are not unduly pressured to conduct research in dangerous settings. The author clarifies these and other points with reference to research in the context of past disasters such as the Oklahoma City bombing, Hurricane Katrina, and the attacks on the World Trade Center.
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