Observing resuscitative practice. A novice researcher’s experience of obtaining ethics approval

Publication Name

Nursing Ethics


Undertaking research involving vulnerable groups, such as those requiring resuscitation involves careful analysis during the ethical review process. When a person lacks the capacity to make an informed choice about their participation in a research study, a waiver of consent offers an alternative. This paper is based on a doctoral research study using ethnography to explore the resuscitative practices and experiences of rural nurses through observation and interviews. This paper aims to explore the ethical issues raised by the Human Research Ethics Committee relating to consent of vulnerable patients requiring resuscitation within a rural context. In particular, the challenges of addressing risk (privacy) vs benefit (public) associated with a waiver of consent. This paper will consider why the rural context should be championed during the ethical review process, when decisions about public benefit are being deliberated. Utilising a communitarianism approach that advocates for greater rural representation during the ethical review processes will ensure that rural research involving vulnerable groups can be addressed safely and benefit not only the experiences and practices of rural nurses but also the wider rural communities they serve.

Open Access Status

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Link to publisher version (DOI)