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Ethical Issues in research into alcohol and other drugs submission

Personal Details
Organisation Name: 
C. Additional Information
Please identify the best term to describe the Organisation: 
Specific Questions
Those making a submission are encouraged to comment on the need for an ethical guidance framework, on whether the values and principles in the National Statement are adequate to address the ethical issues in AOD research, on whether the specific issues identified in this paper are sufficiently distinctive of AOD research to merit specific consideration in the proposed ethical guidance framework, and on whether there are additional issues that should be specifically considered in that framework.
Section Two – 2.1.3: 

Ethical considerations that rightfully are critical in alcohol and other drugs research is not so different from other research human research fields to warrant separate guidance on AOD use and associated research. All of the points made in relation to 2.1.1 could equally be applied to other vulnerable populations.

Section Five - 5.1: 

The National Statement is currently sufficient to accomodate AOD research. Any expansions, which may occur in due course, need NOT to be specifically for AOD research. There is no need to make particular reference to AOD research in the form of specific AOD guidelines.

Section Five – 5.4: 

Anex concurs with the sentiments concerning meaningful - as opposed to tokenistic - consumer consultation and participation in research design, implementation, analysis and dissemination as outlined in the AIVL document. We also concur with the view that consumer participation need to be adequately funded so as to be as fully integrated into reserach agenda setting and implentation where appropriate. However, we maintain that these are matters that have and can be accomodated without recourse to a specific set of AOD guidelines, through clearly defined guidelines concerning partnerships and mutual respect between research organisations and bodies whose mandate is to representing sections of the illicit drug using community. The AIVL document is a quality guide to how consumer participation should be framed, but again, does not justifiy specific AOD guidelines to accompany the National Statement.

Section Six : 

Section 2.1 comments highlights how the issues identified in the Public Consultation document apply to other areas of research meaning that AOD research is not sufficiently distinctive to merit specific consideration.

Section Six – 6.1: 

We do not hold the view that people with an addiction cannot make autonomous decisions regarding whether or not to participate in research. The issue of payment for people who take risks as a result of payment or other inducement is canvassed in the this section of the Framework discussion paper. We feel that this is adequately covered in the National Statement, particular as it makes reference to "risks that they would not otherwise take".

Section Six – 6.2.2: 

There may be instances where the person participating in research may not be able to have a non-minor (parent or guardian) consent, such as a homeless adolescent. Young people engaging in drug use, including alcohol use, may be put at risk of sanctions from parents (for example) when seeking their consent. These matters are not unique to AOD research as to justifiy a separate set of AOD research guidelines.

Section Six – 6.2.3: 

The clause referred to as 4.2.8 (c) may be too restrictive by using the term "the category of children to which this participant belongs".

Section Six – 6.3: 

Any clarificaton, if at all required, should form part of the National Statement rather than being part of any AOD guidelines.

Section Six - 6.4: 

As above. These considerations should be part of the National Statement rather than being canvassed through discussions pertaining to possible specialist AOD guidelines, which this submission is clearly not in support of.

Section Six– 6.5: 

The issue of incentives for engaging in health behaviours, or other forms of behaviour (including negative behaviour possibly) is of such a significant nature that it MOST CERTANILY must be dealth with through the National Statement rather than being canvassed as something peculiar to AOD. It has implications way beyond the AOD sector - eg: educational improvement, nutrition.  Again, not justification for having a specialist AOD set of guidelines.

Section Six – 6.6: 

The issues raised in this section are not unique to AOD. Are there specific guidelines around these issues of legal risks in criminology research, for example. Again, if there is need for more detailed guidance, it should occur via the National Statement.

Page reviewed: 26 October, 2012