UCLan aims to put brakes on unethical research in poor countries

Dr Doris Schroeder  is leading the battle against ethics dumping
Dr Doris Schroeder is leading the battle against ethics dumping

University bosses in Preston are the first in Europe to sign up to a global code of conduct to prevent “ethics dumping.”

The University of Central Lancashire is adopting a global code to prevent unethical research practices in poor countries, whether on humans or animals, which would not be allowed in researchers’ home countries.

UCLan joint institutional lead Dr Lynne Livesey

UCLan joint institutional lead Dr Lynne Livesey

Led by Professor Doris Schroeder, director of the Centre for Professional Ethics at UCLan, the Global Code of Conduct for Research in Resource-Poor Settings has been developed over four years by an international EU-funded project. The main aim is to stop the double standards that exist in international research.

The GCC sets out a framework of values for researchers to follow, which will see institutions like UCLan working with the country researcher is taking place in to develop a culturally appropriate plan to share the benefits of any research, which could range from information, a new low-tech health intervention, or a vaccine.

Basically, no research should be carried out in a poor country that would be banned in richer countries, like Europe and the USA.

Prof Schroeder said it sends out “a clear message against ethics dumping”.

Dr Lynne Livesey, joint institutional lead at UCLan, said: “It is fantastic to see an academic from our own institution lead on a global campaign that will shape the future of research practice.

"The GCC is very much in line with our own institutional ethical values and practice and we are very happy to have this spirit captured in a short, clear and inspirational ethics code.

“We are very proud of Doris and what she has achieved with the global TRUST team.”