What is it about?

When scientists do research, they usually follow rules that make sure their work is safe and fair. These rules or principles are called research ethics. However, many research activities, especially in healthcare, can harm the environment. This includes things like using up plenty of energy and releasing carbon. To solve this problem, the authors talk about creating a new set of guidelines or a “framework” for research that is environment-friendly, and focuses on: • Social Value: The research should do something good for society. • Scientific quality: The research must be accurate. • Respect: The research should respect people, communities, and the environment. • Justice: The benefits of the research should be shared fairly with everyone. • Risk vs. Benefit: The benefits of doing the research should be greater than the risks, especially to the environment.

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Why is it important?

Since a healthy planet is important for everyone's health, the authors believe that taking care of the environment should be part of research ethics. For example, collecting and studying data in healthcare can use up a lot of energy and create waste. So, we need to change the way we think about and conduct our experiments, collect data, and analyze the results. Including the environment in research ethics will allow researchers to make decisions that are better for the planet. They need to think about how their work affects nature today and how it will affect future generations too. The goal is to make sure that research helps, and does not harm, our planet. KEY TAKEAWAY: To safeguard the planet, research must promote new ideas to prevent global health risk. The framework proposed by researchers will help science progress while ensuring the safety of both people and the planet. This research relates to the following Sustainable Development Goals: • SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being • SDG 13: Climate Action • SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Reimagining research ethics to include environmental sustainability: a principled approach, including a case study of data-driven health research, Journal of Medical Ethics, August 2022, BMJ,
DOI: 10.1136/jme-2022-108489.
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