Problem or safeguard? Research ethics review in social care research and the Mental Capacity Act 2005

David Stanley, Bridget Penhale, Jonathan Parker

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2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Information: Title: Problem or safeguard? Research ethics review in social care research and the Mental Capacity Act 2005 Author(s): Jonathan Parker, (Bournemouth University, UK), Bridget Penhale, (University of Sheffield, UK), David Stanley, (Northumbria University, UK) Citation: Jonathan Parker, Bridget Penhale, David Stanley, (2010) "Problem or safeguard? Research ethics review in social care research and the Mental Capacity Act 2005", Social Care and Neurodisability, Vol. 1 Iss: 2, pp.22 - 32 Keywords: Mental Capacity Act 2005, Ethics, Research, Safeguards, Social care Article type: General review DOI: 10.5042/scn.2010.0430 (Permanent URL) Publisher: Emerald Group Publishing Limited Abstract: The Mental Capacity Act 2005 (HM Government, 2005) introduced safeguards to protect people who lack capacity from intrusive research. While these safeguards stemmed from predominantly medical ethical review concerns and developments aimed to protect people from physical and psychological damage and harm, the Act relates to all forms of research. The implications of the requirements of the Act for the conduct of social care research and the identification of helpful approaches or development of new knowledge concerning people who may lack capacity are, as yet, unknown. There are some concerns that the Act does not fully account for social research, does not recognise its importance to and differences from health-related research, and may even hamper such research from taking place. This paper describes the findings and implications from a research project funded by the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) and the Department of Health that considered the impact of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 on the ethical scrutiny and development of social care research. The particular focus of the study was processes relating to university research ethics committees (URECs). The study was undertaken in two stages, beginning with an online survey of UREC policies and procedures and was followed by interviews with social care researchers working in areas in which people may lack capacity according to the terms of the Act. Recommendations for research ethics review are made that will be of importance to practitioners, policy-makers and researchers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-32
Number of pages11
JournalSocial Care and Neurodisability
Volume1
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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