The epistemological bias of ethic review

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    31 Citations (Scopus)


    This article investigates the concerns of a university research ethics committee in rejecting an application to interview people diagnosed with a mental illness. The committee's concerns included the safety of participants and the author as the researcher, the author's lack of training and clinical expertise, her disclosure of a past diagnosis of mental illness, the need for provisions to handle any emergencies, and the need to screen potential participants to ensure they were well enough to give informed consent. These paternalistic and medically derived concerns reflect assumptions about mental illness that are challenged by first-person perspectives, social movements in mental health, and newly emerging work within postpsychiatry. The article proposes some ethical procedures for human research ethics committees to follow to counter the epistemological bias of the current ethics review framework, particularly as it serves to constrain qualitative inquiry and first-person perspectives in mental health research
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)895-913
    Number of pages19
    JournalQualitative Inquiry
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 2007


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