Issues in Ethics of Aging Research

Michael D. Smith

This chapter discusses some of the significant issues that arise when principles for the ethical treatment of research subjects are applied to aging subjects. Some of the ways in which researchers have addressed those issues in the design and execution of their own research are identified. After a brief review of sources for ethical principles in research, several kinds of ethical issues are examined: the complexity of respecting the human autonomy of older research subjects in the consent process, how the nursing home environment creates new ethical issues for research, and a contemporary debate that questions the goodness and rightness of aging research itself.

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