HUMAN RESEARCH ETHICS

HUMAN RESEARCH ETHICS: BENEFICENCE

PART B:
Achievement Test

The following questions are designed to enable you to show that you have understood how ethical aspects of beneficence typically arise in human research projects.

Feedback is provided on your answers. Where this indicates that you have not selected the optimal answer, you will be directed to review this Part and answer the question a second time.

B1. When reviewing a human research proposal, which of the following is usually the most important information about its beneficence?

Select which of the following you regard as the best answer.

     

the rationale for conducting the research

This is relevant because it will usually state the intended benefits but it is not the best answer.

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the explanation in the proposed participant information document of the risk to which participants will be exposed.

This is the best answer: the assessment of beneficence begins with knowing what these risks are.

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the description of the intended benefits and who will receive them

This is of course important to the justification of the risks but is not the best answer.

B2. Which of the following information about a proposed human research project is NOT essential to an assessment of its beneficence?

Select which of the following you regard as the best answer.

     

how the participants have been selected and recruited

This is the best answer

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risks should be identified, quantified, minimised, justified and managed.

This is not the best answer

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who will be have access to the intended benefits of the research

This is not the best answer

B3. In a research project involving the use of a placebo, which of the following would be the decisive factor in an ethical review body’s consideration of the beneficence of the proposal?

Select which of the following you regard as the best answer.

     

the neither the researcher nor the participants will know who receives the placebo

Although this may be relevant, it is not the best answer as it is usually necessary to blind studies using placebos.

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that those participants who receive the placebo and no treatment for the condition will be exposed to risk of harm

This may in some cases be decisive, but usually only where the risk is of significant harm.

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that there is no known effective treatment for the condition being studied.

This is probably the best answer. The use of a placebo requires the justification that at least there is "genuine uncertainty" as to whether current treatments work to.