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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:'Distraction from the real difficulties': ethical deliberations in international health research
Authors:Macdonald, Helen
Spiegel, Andrew D.ISNI
Periodical:Anthropology Southern Africa (ISSN 2332-3264)
Geographic terms:South Africa
United States
Subjects:anthropological research
educational exchanges
health care
Abstract:This article examines the complexities of the institutional ethical regulation of anthropological research, particularly as students based at institutions in the global North increasingly seek affiliation with, assistance from, and ethical approval from colleagues at institutions in the global South. In particular the article focuses on the globalization of the Institutional Review Board principle in defining much of the international landscape of ethical oversight, mainly because so much international health research funding is linked to northern institutions. The authors draw on a case study, the setting being an anthropological investigation by a northern researcher from the United States into health issues such as stigma, HIV, local context and rights-based approaches to health and health service delivery in South Africa. The northern institution made a large investment in ethical oversight, but oriented it entirely towards limiting its legal liability. It was little concerned by ethical considerations posed by South African colleagues. The authors argue that, if there is benefit to be had from transnational excursions, debate about ethics must occur at a cross-national level. With research becoming globalized, and with varying actors across the globe, it becomes necessary to transform the currently dominant paradigm, based as it is on a logic of a northern donor and southern recipients of knowledge, to a more collaborative and equitable process. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract, edited]