Two years ago, I was involved in a situation that required me to make ethical decisions. I was carrying out a research, which required me to opt using children in a school to carry out developmental tests. A prior arrangement required me to visit the families and homes of the children, where I would seek the consent to visit the children at school. On one occasion, I visited a family that used English as an additional language. Both the children and parents were at home. Their English was limited, where I made a mistake of judging that they understood and consented the requirements of the study. The two signed the consent that allowed us to visit the school. The family made me welcome, where they even insisted that I could have stayed for lunch.
A week later, as prior arranged, I visited the school to check on the child, observing how she was faring. I met the head teacher, who claimed that the older brother of the children said that their parents were not happy with the visit. The parents claimed that they did not know about the researcher, or where I had come from. According to reports, the family’s neighbor understood English, where he informed the family that the consent allowed me to visit the child at school. It was now clear to me that the families did not understand the consent. Ethically, it would have been wrong to carry on with the research when the involved parties did not understand the consent. This means that there was likelihood of the involved parties providing the researcher with information they could have considered private.
In solving this case, my decision to solve the ethical dilemma was made after several considerations.
The first step of solving the ethical dilemma was to analyze the moral issues of the dilemma, which was not an easy step. I was required to analyze whether the ethical dilemma could create controversies. This involved thinking of the legal status of my decision, whether it was legally right to use the proposed remedies that I would have used. The legal aspect was used to evaluate whether my actions would jeopardize myself according to the law. The second thing I considered while making my decisions was whether I would feel good about the decisions I had made (Chaffee, 2013). In making of the decision, I had to evaluate my personal values, which were important in thinking and completing the actions. I had to analyze whether my decisions would make me happy. When making the ethical decisions about the problem, I had to think whether it was right to take a decision since I was not required to make snappy decisions. In my solving of the dilemma, I focused on the consequences my decisions would have on the involved parties. I also considered how my actions would affect the involved people in my life, which included my community and the world.
I decided to end the research interaction, where I asked the management of the school to explain to the parents and children what was going on, or what could have been going on with the research. I issued a letter of apologies to the parents explaining why it was difficult for me to carry on with the study after realizing that they did not understand the consent. I talked to the head teacher, where we agreed that the head teacher would find a person using the same language as the family to explain the misunderstanding and offer apologies. I was also required to remove the data of the involved families from the data of the research.. Ethics were also involved in forming the changes that had taken place, and what changes were taking place in the first study.
After canceling out the study part involving the involved families, I felt good since I did not interfere with the private life of an individual. I learned that it was no good for one to continue working if he or she felt that the event would affect the well-being of the society. I also learned that it was necessary for me to carry out or terminate the study if he or she doubted the understanding of the participant. Regardless of the understanding of the languages or linguistics, potential participants of the study may not tell a person what the study is all about. The ethical universal law claims that one should always inform the group that is to be involved in the study of what is expected in the study. The natural ethical law also states that when carrying out the research, the researcher should make sure that the participants understands the whole requirements fully, where they should always be update them with recurring changes. In deciding to stop taking use, I used a decision that could have been used by my professor, who happens to be my professor and my role model.
Chaffee, J. (2013). The philosopher’s way: A text with readings : thinking critically about
profound ideas. Boston: Pearson Education.
Schneier, B. (2003). Beyond fear: Thinking sensibly about security in an uncertain world. New York, NY: Copernicus Books.
Solomon, R. C., & Higgins, K. M. (2013). The big questions: A short introduction to philosophy.
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