Research ethics in different communities

By
Ahmya Rivera
on
May 8, 2021
Category:
National Policy

For the past few weeks, I have been informing myself on research ethics. Through this, I noticed the practice of getting that specific community's insight on what research to conduct. For example, if a majority of the blind community wants research on how to prevent blindness rather than a cure for it; scientists should focus on what the community believes is best versus their own desire. An example for communities of color would be the want for more research on mental health in low-income communities.

By taking into consideration different communities' cultures, wants, and needs, we can make research more desirable, just, and impactful. I believe that all testing or research should take into account the communities' opinions that are directly affected. By not taking into consideration different communities' wants and needs and primarily focusing on what the researchers want to study, unethical research is inevitably created. For example, “Chinese scientist He Jiankui sent shockwaves around the world last year with his claim that he had modified twin babies’ DNA before their birth. The modification was made with gene-editing tool CRISPR-Cas9, he said, and made the babies resistant to HIV.”(Amramova 2). Not only was there a huge moral dilemma, but this is not what the Chinese community wanted at the time. After this, there was naturally huge outrage which wouldn't have happened if the research was desirable amongst that community.

If our policymakers, scientists, and clinicians banded together to properly serve the communities they meant to assist, we would overall progress as a society. As a society, we have many obstacles in the scientific community to decide. Our scientists,  politicians, and clinicians have spent too much time prioritizing studies that aren't of much urgency; look where that has got us. Now, we are still lacking in studies about important things, like air quality in low-income communities, cultural change over time, cures for ailments, and much more. So, I propose that we as a society band together and advocate for this underrepresented issue. To intern, see what type of beneficial research we can provoke.

Works Cited

Amramova, Nina. “Unethical experiments’ painful contributions to today’s medicine.” CNN Health, 2019, https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/09/health/unethical-experiments. Accessed 9 Janurary 2021.

National Center for Biotech Information. “Members of Minority and Underserved Communities Set Priorities for Health Research.” National Library of Medicine, 9 December 2018, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30537366/#:~:text=Conclusions%3A%20Minority%20and%20medically%20underserved,informed%20deliberations%20about%20spending%20priorities.

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