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Moral Obligations To Participate In Medical Research Ethics


“All citizens have the moral obligation to participate in health care/medical research”.
1.What you need to do then is choose to either agree or disagree (don’t do both) with what the topic is proposing.

2.The ethical argument writing should be formed into a more formal 3 rd. person academic style.

  • look particularly to remove conversational style language and phrasing. Consider the benefit of integrating additional ethical concepts.
  • consider the strength of the introduction and conclusion (academic writing).

3.Remember it needs to be an ETHICAL argument, so the bio-ethical principles and even some of the ethical theories perhaps (virtue ethics, utilitarianism etc) could be included in the argument. The purpose of this assessment is to demonstrate the capacity to develop an ethical argument/s based on the four ethical principles: autonomy, justice, beneficence and nonmaleficence. You can use clinical information or statistics etc to support the ethical argument, but make sure the ethics is central (e.g. each and every paragraph should be about ethics)

4.You can use this type of structure as the framework for any ethical argument.

1) Introduce your topic and clearly state your position, must include thesis statement. (approximately 10% of the writing)

2) Arguments – Reasons & supportive evidence (approximately 75% of the writing)

5) Conclusion – Restate (briefly) your position & arguments. (approximately 15% of the writing)

5.Please have a look at some external resources that are highly useful on how to successfully write an opinion piece:

6.Weighting: 50%. Word count: 1500. Please do not use headings/ subheadings. Form the writing in formal 3 rd. person academic style.

7.Please frequently use in-text-citation to indicate that an idea, concept, fact or theory has come directly from a reference. APA 6th edition for referencing. Include 10-15 references.


The research in the medical sectors is based on ethics and therefore considered as medical research ethics. Scientific research conducted, benefits all individuals living in society. Over the past few years, there have been a growing number of people who have been reconceptualizing participating in health care as a moral obligation. John Harris argues that in cases of serious debilitating diseases, there might arise important needs (as cited in Rennie, 2011). As the scope of medical research ethics relieves individuals in need in many cases, people have the moral obligation to act as research subjects. Thus, medical research ethics include autonomy, beneficence, nonmaleficence, and justice. Therefore, the current argument is based on the ethical obligation of citizens while participating in medical research ethics. The argument has been developed for and against the topic, to conclude in favor of the topic.

The domain of medical research ethics in the domain of health is growing and rapidly transforming itself. In the reports of Seiler (2018), it was stated that individuals do have moral obligation while participating in medical research ethics. The medical research ethics enables in developing the health goods for community benefits that act as a valued resource for the present as well as upcoming generations. In the scientific research paradigm, the first ethical obligations are nonmaleficence, that is the participants should not be harmed, killed, or caused suffering during the research (De Roubaix, 2011). The second ethics relates to the beneficence, that is providing benefits without risks through the research. In this principle, medical research ethics should not exploit the right of should protect the individual from harm or reduce the incidence of danger. In the third ethical concern, justice, or equal share of resources, cost, and risk are obliged (Jahn, 2011). In the last ethical concern, the principle of autonomy is followed. This is related to mutual respect to the decision and self-respect given to the individual. These are oral obligations that are followed by the medical researcher during the conduct of any scientific research.

Rosamond Rhodes states that participating in research constitutes moral obligation as it is connected to justice, self-development, and beneficence (as cited in Rennie, 2011). When individuals take part in research then not only the person but the society as a whole stand to gain from it. The individual must acknowledge and participate in medical research ethics as the outcomes are public goods beneficial for all the society and communities. In the current scenario, people participate for their reasons and not for the good of society as a whole (Rennie, 2011). Thus, for the development of the public good in the form of biomedical knowledge individuals participate for common good reason.

Since all individuals benefit from modern medicine, we must all contribute to the development of medical knowledge. According to G. Owen Schaefer and his colleagues, biomedical research has a significant advantage in the field of medical knowledge, it is beneficial for all and everyone is obliged to support this knowledge-based education system by participating in biomedical research (as cited in Rennie, 2011). However, these requirements also include a number of important qualifications. As with most tasks, participation in preliminary evidence or non-absolute participation is a moral obligation; In addition, for example, there is no ethical obligation to participate in the investigation, if the investigation has not been properly developed or if the Ethics Committee (lead) does not assess the investigations and the potential risks to the individual far outweigh the expected benefits. However, this view is based on the moral obligation to participate in biomedical research.

Participation in research, where it is morally necessary, is contrary to the popular belief that participation in the study is morally commendable, recommended, or overly standard. Participation in research is valuable but not necessarily expressed (tacitly or explicitly) in many influential ethical standards and regulations in current research practice and is encouraged to discuss research ethics on human issues. Therefore, it is also philosophical to consider participation in research mandatory. The perception of participation in the study would represent a paradigm shift with global implications, as would other efforts to promote a particular religious or secular moral perspective around the world.

The doctors and the medical staff distrusted due to many scandals and unauthorized use in the medical field. Thus, individuals refrain from volunteering medical research ethics. In many countries or research centers, medical malpractice is carried. UK scandal involved illegal post-mortem exclusion and retaining of matters and organs from the bodies of children (Carter, Laurie, and Dixon-Woods, 2015). There are many scenarios due to which the doctors and nurses are treated suspiciously. This depicts the vigilance but the harm causing by the research is another matter of thought. The research in many medical fields helps in the development of medicines, vaccines, knowledge of new diseases, and many others (Alberti, et al, 2018). The biomedical research is directed toward aids to the mankind kind as a whole, thus, the grade of harm or profits is based on a load of topics, individual and community. 

Virtue ethics is related to ethics emphasizing the personal character of the individual. It is assumed that virtue is acquired through practice. For instance, practicing honesty, generosity, bravery helps in developing the moral character of individuals. This relates to moral obligations in medical research ethics. The existing literature suggests that virtues like kindness; justice fulfils the ethical demands in medical competence. Thus, there empirical evidence that proves the usage or misuse of the virtues by the medical students, staff, and doctors. In the works of Kotzee, Ignatowicz, and Thomas (2017), first- of the -kind study was conducted studying the important virtues for the doctors and students. However, it was noticed that virtue does influence the moral problems in the medical profession.

Utilitarianism is the concept that promotes happiness while rejecting the incidence of harm and unhappiness. In this view, Utilitarianism refers to the rules and policies that increase health care standards for the patients as well for society as a whole. Thus, it can be said this approach is centered around the benefits to the society (Mandal, Ponnambath and Parija, 2016). The health care officials need to balance deontological and Utilitarianism in their medical practice. In this approach, some individuals might sacrifice or get harmed but benefits impact a large number of people living in society. In the situation of pandemics, medical practitioners are exposed to the disease but their involvement saves millions of lives worldwide.

 In recent years, many individuals reconceptualize contribution to medical research ethics as a moral responsibility. Many authors and researchers have argued that medical research ethics has contributed to many medical benefits with the advancement in technology, society has been benefitted to a large extent. Thus, participation in the research obligates an individual morally (Garbutt and Davies, 2011). For instance, the medical and technical advancements in treating cancer are the outcome of biomedical research. Thus, the responsibility of producing a public good should be divided amongst all the individuals for the societal benefits.

It is observed that biomedical medical research is powerful and should be supported and participated. Wertheimer (2014) stated that consent is always required before participation in biomedical research. The author questions that genuineness for the region in requiring the individual to participate in biomedical research. The author also argues that the justifiability of coercing people to contribute as a subject of first-order moral values. States that in the second-order moral values, universal exclusion can be adopted for coercing participation in biomedical research. It is a moral ethic obligation that an individual should not refrain from volunteering in the biomedical research that is conducted for protecting society against harmful diseases. Thus, the arguments support the ethical obligation of individuals in the participation of research.

The moral status of participation in research cannot be separated from history. Nazi experiments and abuse cases have recently, reinforced the view that participation in research is not mandatory, to protect study participants from abuse by stronger interest groups (Rennie, 2011). The examination of the moral state of participation is inextricably linked to the possible motives of the parties. Health research has become an important international industry, changing the morale of participation in research in terms of the political and economic interests of larger participants. It is no coincidence that calls to change the ethical state of research participation are increasingly being outsourced and confused around the world: they move to low-income countries, and participation in research is defined as a greater responsibility to strengthen strength and profitability. Leading short-term beneficiaries say, for example, that researchers, research institutes, public and private money laundering research, and pharmaceutical companies should participate in the study. Those who believe that we all benefit from this fundamental change have an unusually deep, if not false, faith in these institutions.

The report on medical research ethics aimed to support the moral obligation of citizens in participating in the biomedical search. Thus, it can be said that individuals should ethically volunteer as the research outcomes benefit society as a whole. If the practical consequences were very negative, this would be another reason not to change the moral position mentioned in this study. Proponents of such changes must demonstrate that such negative effects are unlikely or that the positive effects of implementing universal benefits outweigh the costs. They should also take into account the impact of this change on vulnerable populations in low-income countries where access to adequate health care can only result from participation in research, as these countries are conducting more and more health research at health research sites. The paper also discusses virtual and Utilitarianism ethics about the medical profession. 

Alberti, P. M., Sutton, K. M., Cooper, L. A., Lane, W. G., Stephens, S., & Gourdine, M. A. (2018). Communities, Social Justice, and Academic Health Centers. Medical research ethics Academic medicine: journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges, 93(1), 20–24. DOI: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000001678.

Carter, P., Laurie, G. T., & Dixon-Woods, M. (2015). The social license for research: why care. data ran into trouble. Journal of medical ethics, 41(5), 404-409. doi:10.1136/medethics-2014-102374

De Roubaix, J. A. M. (2011). Beneficence, non-maleficence, distributive justice and respect for patient autonomy–reconcilable ends in aesthetic surgery?. Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery, 64(1), 11-16. DOI: doi: 10.1016/j.bjps.2010.03.034.

Garbutt, G., & Davies, P. (2011). Should the practice of medicine be a deontological or utilitarian enterprise?. Journal of medical ethics, 37(5), 267-270. dx.doi: 10.1136/jme.2010.036111.

Jahn W. T. (2011). The 4 basic ethical principles that apply to forensic activities are respect for autonomy, beneficence, nonmaleficence, and justice. Journal of chiropractic medicine, 10(3), 225–226. Doi: 10.1016/j.jcm.2011.08.004

Kotzee, B., Ignatowicz, A., & Thomas, H. (2017). Virtue in Medical Practice: An Exploratory Study. Medical research ethics HEC forum : an interdisciplinary journal on hospitals' ethical and legal issues, 29(1), 1–19. Doi: 10.1007/s10730-016-9308-x

Mandal, J., Ponnambath, D. K., & Parija, S. C. (2016). Utilitarian and deontological ethics in medicine. Tropical parasitology, 6(1), 5–7. Doi: 10.4103/2229-5070.175024

Rennie S. (2011). Viewing research participation as a moral obligation: in whose interests?. The Hastings Center report, 41(2), 40–47. DOI: 10.1353/hcr.2011.0025.

Seiler, C. (2018). Can there be a moral obligation to participate in biomedical research?. European journal of clinical investigation, 48(4), e12896.

Wertheimer, A. (2014). (Why) should we require consent to participation in research?. Journal of Law and the Biosciences, 1(2), 137-182. DOI: 10.1093/jlb/lsu008.


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