Written by: Barbara Postol
When recruiting for a research study the sample of participants is important. Unethical sample selection would include exploiting the poor or underprivileged to research that is high risk and of little benefit to that population whereas beneficial research with great promise was conducted on privileged populations.
Target groups should be selected based on the objectives of the study. To ensure fair selection, the target population selected should be in alignment with the scientific goals of the study. Participants at high risk of complications from the study should not be included. Those selected should be able to benefit society with the results, such as an illness that affects a large number of women should include a large sample of female participants so that women may benefit from findings.
Vulnerable groups should be afforded precautions so that they are not exploited nor excluded from research in which they could benefit. Safeguards should be in place to protect this population as well. When recruiting for a study these are critical elements not only to ensure ethical and scientific integrity but to also ensure the public that participating in research projects can help their community as well.