Towards “Collaborative Ethics” for Translational Medical Research Teams - Abstract
An increasing focus of public and private funders of medical research is to promote collaborative research teams that translate research findings into community health improvement. Unique collaborative translational research teams are developed to meet this demand from funders and adequately address the complex health needs of diverse communities. These interdisciplinary teams bring together highly educated individuals with varied ethical training and perceptions of the role of ethics in research. This diverse ethical thinking within the collaborative team sets the stage for unique ethical challenges that are faced by collaborative translational research teams. In this aricle we offer a literature review of key ethical issues that may arise for these collaborative teams that may prevent them from succeeding – namely, conflicts of interest, training competencies, data sharing, and the need to integrate community input into all stages of translational research. Researchers creating collaborative teams can learn from the lessons of the current literature and develop plans to address common ethical challenges for collaborative teams. These teams can also increase research in this area by studying themselves and their responses to ethical challenges. There is also an ongoing need to train researchers to address ethical challenges that arise in collaborative teams since these types of teams are likely to dominate medical research in the foreseeable future.