Ethical Research: Nursing Responsibilities

Topic: Medical Ethics
Words: 334 Pages: 1

Research is critical to enhancing healthcare delivery and patient outcomes. It helps to identify factors contributing to medical errors and the effectiveness of evidence-based practices employed to address them. Nurses should ensure that patients participating in research studies are safe and adequately informed (Lewis et al., 2019). The practitioners ensure that subjects give consent before enrolling in an experiment or trial. It includes potential risks and benefits being communicated in advance.

The situation in the Willowbrook School video is horrible, and the nurse may have wanted to expose it to help the patients living in deplorable conditions at the institution. Budget cuts by the state government had forced the institution to keep those with mental health illnesses in inhumane settings (Raiseyou1, 2011). However, how the subjects are displayed infringes their privacy. It would be better to hide the faces of the individuals when displaying the images.

In the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment, it was wrong for the researchers to promise African Americans free medical care when the intention was to use them as research subjects. The action amounted to a lack of informed consent among the participants. Researchers taking part in the study should have alerted the patients about the purpose of the experiments and the medications provided. Therefore, in this case, the practitioners collected data through unethical means. For instance, nurses and physicians, including those of African descent, convinced the participants to engage in painful practices, which caused massive suffering and death to some patients (African Diaspora News Channel, 2013). Nurses should not have given misleading information to convince those seeking care to provide information.

In summary, nurses should ensure that patients participating in research are safe and give informed consent to protect their privacy and confidentiality. Significant unethical practices were observed in the Willowbrook School video and the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment. Future researchers should avoid such actions and consider the outcomes of both cases. It is essential concerning the ethical side of the research, as well as the mere humanity of the researchers.


African Diaspora News Channel. (2013). The Tuskegee syphilis experiment. YouTube. Web.

Lewis, K. A., Ricks, T. N., Rowin, A., Ndlovu, C., Goldstein, L., & McElvogue, C. (2019). Does simulation training for acute care nurses improve patient safety outcomes: A systematic review to inform evidence‐based practice? World Views on Evidence-Based Nursing, 16(5), 389-396. Web.

Raiseyou1. (2011). Willowbrook state school exposed. Unbelievable. YouTube. Web.

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