Ethical Issues in Surgical Education Research

  • Martyn KingsburyEmail author
Part of the Innovation and Change in Professional Education book series (ICPE, volume 17)


This chapter introduces some elements of moral philosophy in order to contextualise the ethical review process and provide a framework for the ethical consideration necessary to successfully negotiate ethical review and be an ethical researcher. Given its complexity and lack of consistency, it is impossible to provide unequivocal pragmatic advice suitable for local ethical review processes. However, this chapter discusses ethical issues inherent in some research approaches and considers the three ethical principles of respect for persons, beneficence and justice and the common ethical issues of confidentiality, consent, power and positionality. There are seldom simple answers when considering such issues, and the chapter also includes short vignettes to facilitate the reflective deliberation of ethical issues and how they might be addressed in the conduct of educational research practice.


Respect for persons Beneficence Justice  Utilitarianism Deontology Virtue ethics Confidentiality Consent Power and positionality 


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Educational Development UnitImperial College LondonLondonUK

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