06.08.2018

Ethical Challenges in Promoting the Implementation of Preventive Interventions

The Society for Prevention Research commissioned a Ethics Task Force to foster a dialogue around the ethical implementation of tested interventions for the benefit of children, youth, families, and communities. This Task Force was founded because the accumulated scientific evidence for the efficacy of prevention programs has led to an increased public interest in the implementation of these programs in their communities. Being aware of the ethical dilemmas that have arisen in the application of scientific findings in other fields, such as medicine, the Task Force identified a number of ethical dilemmas that often arise in the application of prevention science program in community settings.

These dilemmas included topics such as how to deal with conflicts of interest in providing advice and consultation to public bodies, how to develop ethical partnerships with historically disadvantaged communities, how to ethically conduct evaluations of prevention programs in the community, issues of privacy in an era of big data access, and how to deal with ethical issues as programs become commercialized in the delivery to the public.

In the resulting report, the Task Force did not seek to resolve these issues or to establish formal guidelines for ethical practice. Rather, the Task Force sought to identify the ethical issues and promote broad awareness and dialogue about them. The implicit faith of the Task Force is that the open and transparent discussion of ethical issues is a critical step towards the ethical application of the remarkable scientific advances in the field and ultimately, to advancing the health and well-being of society.

Download the report of the SPR Task Force here.
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