Hypothetical Scenarios

Introduction to Scenarios

The scenarios in this section are built around the four themes of CIHR health research: (1) Biomedical Research, (2) Clinical Research, (3) Health Services Research, and (4) Social, Cultural, Environmental and Population Health Research (explained in greater detail in Section 2). There are four modules to represent these themes.

  1. Biomedical Research
  2. Clinical Research
  3. Health Services Research
  4. Social, Cultural, Environmental, and Population Health Research

The hypothetical scenarios and associated discussion questions are intended to foster dialogue and debate amongst users. They are designed to expose the difficult ethical tradeoffs and complexities inherent to each case.  All of the scenarios include a description of the case, a series of discussion questions, links to relevant ethics guidance documents, notes describing which aspects of the KTA–E cycle the scenario explores, and where applicable, links to relevant papers.

A Discussion Guide is offered at the end of each scenario. This guide is not exhaustive but highlights some of the key points that could be raised in discussions about the scenarios from Section 4. This guide should be viewed merely as a discussion aid to help identify some of the important ethical aspects in the case in order to prompt full exploration of the ethical issues at stake in each module.

The discussion guide should not be used to narrow discussions of the scenarios or to determine the correct answer to each scenario question. The issues it presents are not intended to be exhaustive; instead, the guide only serves to highlight some key points that if missed in the discussion would result in a serious gap. Users should refer to the KTA–E cycle to help locate these ethical issues within the lifecycle of scientific research and consider how these issues may influence other phases in the conceptual framework.

It is re-stressed here that there are no right or wrong answers to the questions, intended to exemplify ethics issues.

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