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The ethics of suicide research: The views of ethics committee members


Lakeman, R and Fitzgerald, MA, The ethics of suicide research: The views of ethics committee members, Crisis: The Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention, 30, (1) pp. 13-19. ISSN 0227-5910 (2009) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1027/0227-5910.30.1.13


Background. Good quality, ethically sound research is needed in order to better understand, appropriately respond to, and reduce the incidence of suicide. There is, however, a lack of clarity around the nature of ethical problems associated with suicide research and how to resolve them. This is a formidable challenge for ethics committee members in approving and monitoring research. Aims. To describe the views that members of health research ethics committee hold regarding ethical problems and ethical practice in research involving people who are, or who have, been suicidal. Methods. Ethics committee members were invited to complete an online survey addressing the risks, benefits, and ethical problems associated with suicide research. Findings were aggregated into themes using an inductive form of content analysis. Results. Concerns of ethics committees centered on accessing the population, potential harm to participants or the researcher, researcher competency, maintaining confidentiality, providing support to participants, and responding sensitively to the needs of family. Conclusions. Ethical research involving suicidal people requires both procedures to protect participants, and consideration of ethics as an ongoing negotiated process. The findings of this research provide a snapshot of views held by a number of ethics committee members.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:suicide, research, ethics, research ethics, ethical review
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Nursing
Research Field:Mental health nursing
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Provision of health and support services
Objective Field:Mental health services
UTAS Author:Fitzgerald, MA (Professor Mary Fitzgerald)
ID Code:61466
Year Published:2009
Web of Science® Times Cited:68
Deposited By:Nurse Education Unit
Deposited On:2010-03-03
Last Modified:2010-05-21

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