Overview of Conflicts of Interest Essay
Overview of Conflicts of Interest
Confidentiality is also something that some volunteers of the Remedios AIDS Foundation should also learn. Although many officers of this NGO advocate confidentiality, many of its volunteers could still breach this ethical code, thus further isolating prospective clients. It is a well-known fact that the life of the first Filipino AIDS victim was made into a commercial movie, and had attracted thousands of audience – making it seem like a carnival show.
This is precisely the kind of stigma that HIV/AIDS victims is afraid of, and something that the Remedios AIDS Foundation – and many other NGOs dealing with this disease — is trying to work out. The Remedios AIDS Foundation is also faced with the dilemma on how to conduct research without exposing the patients to various risks (CIOMS 1993). As an NGO that do social and medical research, it has to ensure that HIV/AIDS patients must also benefit from its studies. It is unethical to expose subjects to the risks of participating in a research study unless the design is sufficiently rigorous that the results will be valid and generalizable (U.
S. National Commission for the Protection of the Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research). Another critical ethical consideration that must be dealt with accordingly by the Remedios AIDS Foundation is how to maintain objectivity in front of emotional patients. Culturally speaking, the Filipino people tend to be emphatic of each other’s plights, thus it is not an isolated case to find volunteers who are emotionally affected by the conditions of HIV/AIDS patients. This eventually leads them to quit from their volunteer work and/or to be personally involved in their patients’ cases, which often clouds their critical judgment.
Applications The best thing to do here is to implement an intensive and extensive information campaign on AIDS and the advantages of belonging to a core group that can emotionally and physically assist the AIDS victims. Moreover, volunteers of the Remedios AIDS Foundation should also undergo intensive training and education on how to properly deal with HIV/AIDS patients. It must be noted that these patients are already wrapped in insecurity and treating them with slight uncertainty will only decrease their self-confidence.
To meet the ethical obligations for research, on the other hand, this NGO must conduct studies whose sample sizes must be adequate. Suitable study endpoints must also be selected. It must also ensure that clinical trials must undergo preliminary laboratory and animal research. It must always take into consideration that research with human participants raises ethical concerns because people accept risks and inconvenience to advance scientific knowledge and to benefit others (Lo 2000). Social researchers of this NGO must also learn how to use language that is not offensive to study participants.
Conclusion As one of the NGOs at the forefront of combating HIV/AIDS in the Philippines, the Remedios AIDS Foundation is faced with many ethical dilemmas that it is trying to overcome one by one. Although it is difficult to do in this largely Catholic country where promiscuity is being strongly detested and HIV/AIDS is being associated with promiscuity, it continues to embark on a rigorous warfare against HIV/AIDS in the country. Everything is an uphill battle because social norms and religiosity keep HIV/AIDS patients from coming forward in the open to seek for help.
The NGO is looking for ways and means to solve this problem without losing its focus. As the officers and volunteers of the Remedios AIDS Foundation are also mostly Catholics, they also have to be able to move around their religious beliefs in order to stop being discriminatory to HIV/AIDS patients. They also have to ensure that their researchers are well-trained to avoid offending study participants and this can only be done by conducting intensive trainings. Lastly, objectivity should also be encouraged to avoid personal involvement in patients’ predicament.
This last ethical issue should be encouraged to avoid conflict of interest on the part of the NGO. In the end, the officers and volunteers of this NGO are cognizant of the fact that unless these ethical concerns are addressed, their fight against HIV/AIDS will never be successful.
References: Council for International Organizations of Medical Sciences (CIOMS). (1993) International Ethical Guidelines for Biomedical Research Involving Human Subjects. Geneva. de Bruyn, T. (1998) HIV/AIDS and Discrimination: A Discussion Paper. Montreal: Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network & Canadian AIDS Society. Lo B.
(2000) Overview of Conflicts of Interest. In Resolving Ethical Dilemmas: A Guide for Clinicians. 2nd ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Reproductive Health Outlook. (1997) HIV/AIDS Key Issues. Retrieved May 30, 2006 from http://www. rho. org/html/hiv_aids_keyissues. html U. S. National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research. (1978) The Belmont Report: Ethical Principles and Guidelines for the Protection of Human Subjects of Research. Washington, D. C. : Dept. of Health, Education and Welfare. The Offical Website of the Remedios AIDS Foundation. (1991) http://www.remedios.com.ph/
University/College: University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 19 May 2017