McDonald Explores Ethics in Disability Research

Associate professor of Public Health and a Burton Blatt Institute faculty fellow, Katherine McDonald, recently published the article, “There is No Black or White: Scientific Community Views on Ethics in Intellectual and Developmental Disability Research,” in the Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities. Her findings from four focus groups with researchers and ethics review board members explored how to ethically conduct research, relevant factors to consider, appropriate ways to address ethical concerns, and the role of ethical and civil rights principles. Findings indicate support for the use of ethical principles and newer models of disability to promote inclusion in research, a focus on researchers’ interpersonal skills and relationships to participants, questions about the best approaches to recruitment, consent, and compensation, and strategies to promote participation in research.

This spring, McDonald was invited to Upstate Medical University to present on the topic of research including people with developmental disabilities. The presentation was highlighted in a recent article in Upstate Health under the The Upstate Ethicist column titled “Should Research Include People with Developmental Disabilities?”

Earlier this summer, McDonald published an article in theAmerican Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities entitled, ” ‘We Want Respect’: Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Address Respect in Research.”