Enriching ethics-review processes in the spirit of participatory dialogue

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    This chapter presents two strategies for improving research ethics review regimes with the purpose of working to overcome barriers posed by ethics review boards. Barriers are frequently based on assumptions board members make about participants, researchers, and the risks of research. In particular, I discuss the rationale for and benefits of (1) involving members of participant groups, community organizations, or advisory groups and (2) elevating the expertise of disciplinary peers in the review process. These practices, notwithstanding challenges, have great potential to enrich existing processes of research ethics review and, in some cases, improve existing procedures through modifying, replacing, or eliminating those that do not work. The chapter also provides an overview of some of the problems with systems of research ethics review identified by scholars from many countries, along with an explanation of the framework for ethics review of human research in Australia. I follow this by relating my own ethics review experience, arguing the vital need to integrate participant and peer review into the research ethics review process. On a broader scale, one needs to see a shift of moral reasoning in the ethics review process – one that requires greater public participation, recognition of the partiality and conflicting interests of current systems of ethics review (in particular, the biomedical model that underpins the current system), and encouragement of participatory dialogue (Eckenwiler, 2001).
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Ethics Rupture
    Subtitle of host publicationExploring Alternatives to Formal Research-Ethics Review
    EditorsWill C van den Hoonaard, Ann Hamilton
    Place of PublicationToronto, Canada
    PublisherUniversity of Toronto Press
    Number of pages23
    ISBN (Electronic)9781442616653
    ISBN (Print)9781442626089
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


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