Four: Ethics: research governance for health and social care

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In the UK, research and development (R&D) carried out by organiszations and individuals is subject to the research governance framework for health and social care. This framework, which is overseen by the relevant government department, aims to enhance the promotion and quality of R&D, and to ensure a sustainable research culture. Research governance compliance criteria include the need for independent scientific review of the research proposal; ethical approval; and sponsorship and supervision by responsible health and social care professionals. This chapter examines the ethical implications of the patient’s autonomy and consent within the framework, alongside those of monitoring, accountability, leadership, and management. It also considers shortcomings in the conduct of R&D and subsequent evidence-based practice.

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