It studies the principles about how we should do things right. We study ethics in order to improve our lives, and therefore its principal concern is the nature of human well-being. (Aristotles Ethics, 2007)
Despite all these supposed advantages, there are still numerous ethical issues. This is because people interpret ethics differently. I might think of something as ethical while it may be totally unethical for another person. This is what leads to ethical problems and concerns. In the context of research, let's say, that a scientist feels that it is perfectly moral to test medicine on animals. He thinks so because his priority is benefit of science. An environmentalist, on the other hand, may feel apprehended at the thought of animals being made test subjects because his utmost priority is to protect the environment. What can we say about ethics here Both parties, in their places, are entirely reasonable. However, an ethical issue arises because both have different conventions for distinguishing between right and wrong.
These issues are faced everyone everyday. Everybody comes to a point where they have to decide between what's right and what's not. This dilemma becomes especially apparent when carrying out research. There are specific norms for everything; in case of ethics of research, they are the aims or goals to be applied to people who conduct research in a systematic and scientific manner or other scholarly or creative activities, and there is a specific discipline, research ethics, on which these norms are based (Resnik, 2007).
Like mentioned above, these norms serve the goals of research. What are these goals The most important goal of research clearly is to find out whatever is possible about what is being studied. How does sticking to these ethical norms achieve this aim The answer is in the following section. While we get to that, we will study about the conflict of research and ethics.
The biggest problem with carrying out ethical research is that it doesn't give perfectly naturalistic results. Either you can have an absolutely ecologically valid study or you can be absolutely moralistic and adhere to every ethical norm. Ecological validity is when the study is true to life. One may think, what has that got to do with ethics To carry out an ecologically valid research, it is important that subjects don't know about a lot of things that could cause demand bias characteristics or results that are affected by preconceived notions. And if subjects don't know a lot of things, this means that they haven't been told by the researchers and this is unethical. Researchers, on the other hand, may say that it was ethical as they kept things private for the benefit of science. Nevertheless, for an average person, it is unethical to keep things from the subjects of the study. This ethical issue is an honesty issue.
Apart from honesty, another concern is confidentiality. When researchers carry out research and find amazing results, they feel obliged to share it with the rest if the world even if it means breaching of the initial agreement. Information about participants is leaked out and this too for them is for the good of science. Sharing results is one thing, while breaking a contact is another. The