Ethics in research involves a set of principles and values that guide the conduct of research and ensure the protection of human subjects. These principles include respect for persons, beneficence, and justice. However, ethical safeguards designed for clinical research may not always be feasible or appropriate for evidence-based practice or evidence-based practice implementation projects. This is because evidence-based practice involves the integration of the best available research evidence with clinical expertise and patient values to guide clinical decision-making.
Implementing evidence-based quality improvement initiatives (EBQI) may raise several ethical controversies related to informed consent, privacy, confidentiality, and the potential for harm to patients. These controversies relate to the four core ethical principles of autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence, and justice. It is important to identify and address these controversies to ensure that the benefits of EBQI outweigh the potential risks and harms to patients.
The concept of “patients having an ethical responsibility in improving healthcare” may conflict with certain ethical principles, such as autonomy and non-maleficence. Patients may feel pressured to comply with healthcare recommendations or participate in quality improvement initiatives, which may not be in their best interests. It is important to recognize these conflicts and work with patients to address their concerns and ensure that their autonomy and well-being are respected.