Ethical consideration is important in nursing research and ensures that participants are protected from harm during the research. Ethical components also ensure that participants willingly participate in the research and understand the benefits or effects that the study could have on their wellbeing. These factors align with the need to obtain informed consent from research participants before beginning the research.
In the studies conducted by Nazi doctors during the holocaust, some of the ethical components that were missing included informed consent, need to inform the participants about the risks of the research, autonomy, and the need to terminate the research if subjects were injured or in cases where there was the likelihood of disabilities or deaths. The participants included in the studies had been obtained from the concentration camps and were forced to participate in the research (Reis, Wald, & Weindling, 2019; Ghooi, 2013). The issues seen in these studies led to the formation of the Nuremberg Code, which was meant to protect future research participants.
In the video, some of the ethical codes missing include improper care of patients, exposure of the patients to unhealthy living conditions, and lack of proper programs for the mentally retarded patients. The living conditions and lack of autonomy seen in the mentally ill children who were being cared for at the Willowbrook facility resembles the negligence that the people held in the Nazi concentration camps faced (JDS:92 6ix.1.6ix, 2017). Ethical principles such as autonomy and informed consent are necessary because they ensure that participants are aware of the objectives of the research and the procedures that might be performed on them during the studies, uphold dignity, and ensure participants are respected (Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, 1979). They also ensure that participants understand possible risks and benefits of the research on their health and their rights.
Ethical components ensure that participants in a research are treated fairly. These components also uphold participant’s dignity and eliminate the risks of deaths, complications, or disabilities during the research. The treatment of participants by the Nazi doctors during the holocaust and the exposure of the mentally ill children to unhealthy living conditions at Willowbrook went against these principles.
Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. (1979, April 18). The Belmont Report. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Retrieved from https://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/regulations-and-policy/belmont-report/read-the-belmont-report/index.html
Ghooi, R. B. (2013). The Nuremberg Code–A critique. Perspectives in Clinical Research, 2(2), 72-76. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/51469894_The_Nuremberg_Code-A_critique.
JDS:92 6ix.1.6ix. (2017, March 19). Willowbrook: The Last Great Disgrace 1972. YouTube. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPvQpWEdxoY&feature=youtu.be
Reis, S. P., Wald, H. S., & Weindling, P. (2019). The Holocaust, medicine and becoming a physician: the crucial role of education. Israel Journal of Health Policy Research, 8(55). Retrieved from https://ijhpr.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13584-019-0327-3.