Today, it is clear that evidence-based practice continues to result in tremendous patient outcomes.

Today, it is clear that evidence-based practice continues to result in tremendous patient outcomes. Melynk and Fineout-Overholt (2015) discuss that as with any scope of the healthcare field, evidenced-based practices heighten ethical concerns. Some of the ambitions hidden in the advancement of evidence-based practice are, at the core, ethical (p. 515). However, it is critical to consistently ensure the protection of personal rights in those subjects involved in research studies.


In order to protect the personal rights of human subjects involved in research studies, it is vital for providers to be aware of the federal regulations and policies that are in place. Bierer, Barnes, and Lynch (2017) explain that the research with human subjects is funded by federal agencies and is controlled by a set of regulations and methods that were created in order to protect study participants while facilitating the advancement of research (p. 784). These federal regulations assist in protecting basic human rights, such as beneficence, and help in defending vulnerable populations from experiencing harm. Furthermore, the Institutional Review Board must grant approval for the research study to commence. Bierer, Barnes, and Lynch (2017) explain that the Institutional Review Board must meticulously review the ethics and appropriateness of a proposed research project and the participation of the enlisted human subjects (p. 786).

It is also essential to identify vulnerable human subjects that are involved in a research project. Clark and Preto (2018) discuss that vulnerability has emerged and is identified in research as one’s inability to defend one’s own best interests, awareness to harm, and various determinants to one’s determinants of health (p. 308). Providing patients with a thorough education and pertinent handouts regarding the details of the study is key. Bierer, Barnes, and Lynch (2017) explain that individuals that are registered in a research study must be given a comprehensive understanding of the risks, benefits, and other pertinent information (p. 784).


It is critical to consistently ensure the protection of personal rights of those individuals enlisted in a research project. Davis (2018) emphasizes that in order to protect human participants in research, organizations must follow policies for the protection of human research subjects. Regardless of whether research takes place in medical or private facilities, human subject protection can only be guaranteed if the Institutional Review Board closely oversees the research it has approved (p. 92).


Bierer, B. E., Barnes, M., & Lynch, H. F. (2017). Revised ‘common rule’ shapes protection for

          research participants. Health Affairs, 36(5), 784-788. 

Clark, B., & Preto, N. (2018). Exploring the concept of vulnerability in healthcare. Canadian

Medical Association Journal, 190(11), 308-309.

Davis, S. (2018). Monitoring of approved studies: A difficult tightrope walk by ethics

          committees. Perspectives in Clinical Research, 9(2), 91-94. 

Melnyk, B. M., & Fineout-Overholt, E. (2015). Evidence-based practice in nursing and healthcare:

A guide to best practice (3rd ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer Health.

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