Reflections on the Ethics-Approval Process

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    SAGE Publishing


    Lee Murray, Debbie Pushor Pat Renihan, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada

    From Qualitative Inquiry

    It is sometimes a difficult journey receiving ethics approval for research involving vulnerable populations, research involving our own children, or innovative research methodologies such as autoethnography. This autoethnographical account is a story about one student who wanted to write a PhD dissertation in a very different way and also the story of her co-supervisors who supported the student in using autoethnography as a creative way to share her “secrets of mothering” and who also supported her through an ethics-approval process that was both challenging and rewarding. This article reflects on a personal journey through the ethics-approval process at a Canadian university integrating components of the Tri-Council Policy Statement (TCPS), that guides university ethics committees across Canada, and asks the questions: What is the purpose of research and how can research ethics boards support research and stories that are difficult to tell and difficult to hear? It is an inquiry into secrets and difficult knowledge, and how reluctant we are to talk about difficult topics such as developmental disabilities, sexual abuse, divorce, accidents, and illness.

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    ABUBAKAR S Usman

    I can say the problem of passive evil in educational administration as moral inadequacy or muteness practiced by those witnessing unethicall behaviour on the part of others that causes harm or suffering. Viewing the world of educational organisations through this lens emphasies the failure to respond morally to the everday cruelties and moral lapses taking place within the ranks of administrators, thus, (Martin Niemuller) says: In Germany they came first for the communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a communist. Then they came for the Jew,  and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists,  and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionists. Then they came for the Catholics,and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant. Then  they  came for me,  and by that time no one was left to speak up.That is the moral implications for doing nothing.

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