Chapter 2: Ethics in Research
- A human subject is defined as “a living individual about whom an investigator (whether professional or student) conducting research obtains: 1) data through intervention or interaction with the individual, or 2) identifiable private information).” Non-human research participants, on the other hand, are objects or entities that investigators manipulate or analyze in the process of conducting research.
- Research on human participants is underpinned by moral and ethical principles. Increasingly, there is an expectation that research on non-human animals will also be underpinned by such moral and ethical principles.
- A researcher must focus on five key ethical components as they relate to the research participants: confidentiality, conflict of interest, informed consent, protection of identities, and respect for human dignity.
- The Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (2005), put forward eight ethical principles for researchers: respecting human dignity, respecting free and informed consent, respecting vulnerable peoples, respecting privacy and confidentiality, respecting justice and inclusiveness, balancing harms and benefits, minimizing harm, and maximizing benefits.