E-mail's moral, ethical issues discussed

Nov 16, 2005

Australian scientists say e-mail provides new opportunities for health researchers, but also raises a wide range of moral and ethical issues.

Chief among those issues is patient confidentiality, said Dr. Debbie Kralik of the University of South Australia.

"Researchers work to very strict ethical protocols" she said. "However, a variety of complex issues arise during e-mail research that can make the application of traditional ethical standards, such as consent, identity and confidentiality, difficult."

Kralik and her team developed a 12-point plan to assist other scientists considering e-mail research.

Among the top points is making sure people taking part in the study well understand what it will entail and provide their informed consent.

Scientists also must be sure study participants understand their privacy and anonymity cannot be guaranteed, since emails will be saved on other participant's computers.

Additional points include whether pseudonyms and online persona qualify as confidential information, whether participants be provided with the opportunity to debrief once the study is completed, and how will the identity of group members be kept confidential.

The study appears in the November issue of the Journal of Advanced Nursing.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Local education politics 'far from dead'

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Japan lab says stem cell research falsified (Update 3)

Apr 01, 2014

The finding that a lead researcher falsified data in a widely heralded stem-cell research paper is a setback for Japan's efforts to promote its advanced research, but also a symptom of the pressure for breakthroughs ...

Media sometimes try, fail to keep NSA's secrets

Feb 08, 2014

News organizations publishing leaked National Security Agency documents have inadvertently disclosed the names of at least six intelligence workers and other government secrets they never intended to give ...

Recommended for you

Local education politics 'far from dead'

19 hours ago

Teach for America, known for recruiting teachers, is also setting its sights on capturing school board seats across the nation. Surprisingly, however, political candidates from the program aren't just pushing ...

First grade reading suffers in segregated schools

19 hours ago

A groundbreaking study from the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute (FPG) has found that African-American students in first grade experience smaller gains in reading when they attend segregated schools—but the ...

Violent aftermath for the warriors at Alken Enge

19 hours ago

Denmark attracted international attention in 2012 when archaeological excavations revealed the bones of an entire army, whose warriors had been thrown into the bogs near the Alken Enge wetlands in East Jutland ...

Why aren't consumers buying remanufactured products?

21 hours ago

Firms looking to increase market share of remanufactured consumer products will have to overcome a big barrier to do so, according to a recent study from the Penn State Smeal College of Business. Findings from faculty members ...

Expecting to teach enhances learning, recall

21 hours ago

People learn better and recall more when given the impression that they will soon have to teach newly acquired material to someone else, suggests new research from Washington University in St. Louis.

User comments : 0