Answer: Internal review boards (IRBs) are present to assure that subjects used in research are not also used to exploit the subjects. The rights and welfare of the patients must come first, and therefore those rights must be protected (University of Pittsburgh, 2018). Internal review boards are present in many universities, hospitals, and private companies.
Many groups can be considered vulnerable, including students. There are many research projects done on university campuses across the United States. Students are a convenient group as they are on campus or online communities, and frequently they are the group that is pursuing research to guide their degrees. According to University of Nevada Las Vegas (2019), regardless of the method of using students as research groups, students can still feel obligated to be a part of the study, for fear that their grade will be affected. Therefore it is essential to follow the guidelines set out by the internal review board to assure protection to the group that is being studied or surveyed.
• Ensure that subjects are adequately informed of the nature of the study.
• Ensure that subjects’ participation is voluntary.
• Ensure that the benefits of a study outweigh its risks.
• Ensure that the risks and benefits of the study are evenly distributed among the possible subject populations.
• Suspend and report human subjects research activity that violates regulations, policies, procedures, or an approved protocol (University of Nevada Las Vegas, 2019).
This writer has previously collected data as a part of the research in an undergraduate nursing degree and recalls the guidance of the instructor was paramount. The entire survey had to go before the universities IRB, and the project had to have a lead investigator on the project who was the faculty advisor. There had to be a packet filled out, laying out all of the intentions of the group, and what was to be gained from the research. Although students participated in the study, they were not identified, and filling out the survey was an acknowledgment of their informed consent of the project. Students were given the surveys in a randomly chosen class that was not a nursing class. They had the opportunity to hand in the study filled in or blank, so their instructor would have no idea who filled out the survey or not, and it would not affect their grade. Research students collected the data, and it was kept confidential. This was a rewarding process for the students obtaining the data, and hopefully was also rewarding for the students filling out the data.
Original Question: Conducting research projects while ensuring the protection of human subjects is necessary. What are some methods to protect personal rights of someone in one of the groups that is labeled as vulnerable? Justify your rationale