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Table 1 Comparing two ethical paradigms

From: Reconsidering ‘ethics’ and ‘quality’ in healthcare research: the case for an iterative ethical paradigm

  Pre-dictive ethics Iterative ethics
1 Ethical risks are generally predictable Ethical risks may NOT be predictable
2 Ethical procedures should be pre-specified - Ethics as ‘requirement’ Ethical procedures should be emergent to take into account the unfolding context - Ethics as ‘process’
3 Treats participants as being ‘subject to’ research Treats participants as being ‘subjective participants within’ research
4 Ethics reviews aim to protect participants Ethics reviews aim to help researchers to think sensitively about how to maintain an ethical stance towards and with research participants
5 Ethics reviews aim to evaluate researchers Ethics reviews aim to work with researchers to explore ethical concerns
6 Ethics reviews ‘apply’ codes of conduct and treat ethics as a set of ‘accountable standards’ Ethics reviews analyse ethical concerns with researchers in relation to the specific research context
7 Researchers treated as independent from practices of data collection and regarded as implementing a research protocol Researchers seen as reflexive participants within research
8 Work with a binary of ‘ethical’/‘non-ethical’ Treat ethical problems as multidimensional and contextually framed