- Discuss the significance of the Belmont Report to nursing research
2. Describe one of the basic ethical principles discussed in the Belmont Report
3. Discuss how Big Data as a part of information technology affects informed consent and privacy in research
4. Please use at least two peer reviewed journal articles written within the past 5 years
The Belmont Report and the Impact of Big Data
The Belmont Report explored the ethics of research, ethical principles, and their application in field research. According to the report, the involvement of human subjects in research requires researchers to consider some general and specific rules protecting the subjects’ interests and welfare. The application of ethical principles applied in research studies involving human subjects solves possible ethical issues in advance and provides a basis for mutual benefits.
Significance of the Belmont Report to Nursing Research
The Belmont Report proposed guidelines for conducting nursing research, which, if followed, minimize the occurrence and impact of ethical issues in research studies involving human subjects. The report highlighted the ethical boundaries between practice and research, pointing out that a distinction of biomedical research behavior from acceptable practice standards improves a research study (U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, 1979, pp.4-5). According to the report, nursing and medical research must consider the basic ethical principles for involving human subjects (U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, 1979, p.4). Ethical limitations in nursing provide a basis for investigating moral dimensions encountered in research (Dimitrios & Antigoni, 2018, p.1983). Additionally, ethical limitations presented as ethical principles determine the boundaries researchers must observe and flags research studies that overstep these boundaries (Dimitrios & Antigoni, 2018, p.1983). The presentation of the nursing ethical principles in the Belmont Report paved the way for research studies to abide by the moral dimensions that respect persons’ rights. As a result, nursing research benefits as researchers can conduct their research studies under the outlined ethical guidelines and, in the process, avoid the legal and ethical repercussions that may arise from their research studies. The Belmont Research also explored the application of medical research ethics, pointing out that researchers must assess their studies’ risks and benefits before their actual execution (U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, 1979, p.8). The discussion of the risks and benefits associated with research benefits nursing research since researchers can use this report to assess their studies’ significance. The assessment outcome informs researchers whether to carry out their studies or abandon them depending on the balance between risks and benefits.
Basic Ethical Principle in the Belmont Report (Beneficence)
One of the fundamental ethical principles discussed in the Belmont Report, beneficence, protects human subjects from harm and secures their wellbeing. The beneficence principle depends on two general principles, which include minimizing the potential of harm to subjects and maximizing their possible benefits (U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, 1979, p.5). Researchers must learn what it means by ‘harmful’ and gauge it against their studies and improve their projects based on the outcome (U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, 1979, p.5). The beneficence principle plays a significant role in research studies since it explores the direct physical impact of research and the possible psychological effects on human subjects (Dimitrios & Antigoni, 2018, p.1984). Due to the probable adverse effects of research on human subjects’ physical and psychological wellbeing, the beneficence principle requires researchers to inform participants about the research’s short-term and long-term impact (U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, 1979, p.5). However, researchers often face a dilemma in their utilization of the principle of beneficence in their studies. Many researchers find it impossible to carry out research studies with minimal harm to human subjects but with direct benefits in society (U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, 1979, p.5). Due to this dilemma, researchers find themselves making difficult choices to carry on with their studies or avoid the risk of disapproval by ethics committees. The justification of a research study through the principle of beneficence impacts informed consent and human subjects’ willingness to trust studies.
The Impact of Big Data on Informed Consent and Privacy in Research
The sharing of data with the medical community, often referred to as big data, affects how researchers and human subjects view privacy and informed consent. Healthcare researchers and professionals share big data to improve insights into scientific researches and gain new perspectives impacting the sector positively (Jacobs & Popma, 2019, p.1.). However, researchers and human subjects raise concerns regarding the privacy and confidentiality of the shared information, arguing that anyone’s likelihood to access the shared data dilutes its privacy and confidentiality (Jacobs & Popma, 2019, p.2). The concerns arising from big data as part of information technology create friction in personal interests regarding research data and information (Jacobs & Popma, 2019, p.2). For instance, human subjects rebel from research studies, and if they take part, they oppose research acquisition of personal and confidential information. Jacobs and Popma (2019) added that corporate actors such as intellectual property agencies become interested in medical and nursing research studies due to the clash of interests between sharing personal and confidential data and societal benefits (p.2). With informed consent, researchers must abide by ethical standards safeguarding human subjects. Human subjects hold the right to determine what happens to their data (U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, 1979, p.6). As a result, big data has made it hectic for researchers to convince human subjects regarding their data privacy and confidentiality and have them sign informed consent forms.
Ethical principles such as beneficence and their application influence nursing research’s nature and solve possible ethical issues in advance based on the balance between risks and benefits. Nursing researchers must respect the boundaries of practice and research regardless of the benefits of their studies. However, big data now impacts the benefits of nursing research by hindering research privacy and informed consent.
Dimitrios, T., & Antigoni, F. (2018). Ethics and deontology in nursing research: A discussion
paper. International Journal of Caring Sciences, 11(3), 1982-1989.
Jacobs, B., & Popma, J. (2019). Medical research, Big Data and the need for privacy by
design. Big Data & Society, 6(1), 2053951718824352.
U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. (1979). The Belmont Report. Office of the