Virtue ethics of clinical research
Perspectives in Clinical Research
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A thorough exploration of the ends of our work as clinical researchers, and its ethical nature, is necessary to rediscover the values that should form its structure, and also to achieve a scientific production of the highest quality. Virtue ethics revives the idea which considers that all of us are naturally inclined to move towards what we perceive as good. Virtues are the qualities that we acquire to define correctly, and move effectively towards, that ethical horizon. The ethical character of the researcher is the ultimate guarantor of ethical excellence, which applies not only to the dilemmas but to everything we do in the course of our investigations. The virtues that make the clinical researcher produce the best scientific results include being disciplined, creative, capable of critical thinking, and compassionate. Beneficence is what makes clinical researchers always look for patients’ good, and is the virtue that overarches all the others. However, virtue ethics has to be based on a firm idea of the good, therefore we have to face a number of fundamental questions including where is human dignity based, and if there is an ethical order transcending the human being. The power of the clinical researcher to do good to different patients seems enormous. Ignoring our ethical commitment would be disloyal to the trust put in us by society and ultimately to the universal vocation to search for and do good. Our commitment as clinical researchers requires that we look for ethical excellence in every step of our practice.
AuthorsAYERBE GARCIA-MONZON, L; Perez-Pinar, M
- Population Health