Date Published: May 29, 2007
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Author(s): Loane Skene
Partial Text: Adamson Muula  rightly observes that demarcation between the “zones” of Skene’s barometer is unclear. Certain activities may fall in one zone or another, depending on the circumstances. A research project does not fall within a particular zone solely because of its type. One must consider the project in operation. Muula mentions the treatment of participants in trials, particularly whether they are properly informed before the trial starts. One could add other factors such as the way participants are recruited, personal information held, or adverse incidents reported. Thus “research involving competent adults”, which I have in the green zone (permitted with ethical oversight), would move to the yellow or orange zones (permitted under national laws with ethical oversight; or prohibited by national laws) if participants were coerced or duped into entering a trial; or if their personal details were revealed without their consent or other lawful authority; or if researchers did not inform the appropriate authority during the trial that other participants had suffered serious and unexpected injury. Similarly, “medical research involving children” would fall within the green zone only if there is minimal harm to the child and full parental consent.