Inasmuch as a randomized control study is straightforward, it is important for the researcher to avoid bias by not informing the patient the kind of drug they have been offered. However, the drugs are likely to bring about some negative impacts, and it is thus necessary to inform the subjects of the disadvantages and possible side effects of the medication. In addition, it is also important for the researcher to ensure that the participants can provide informed consent (Tasse et al., 2010).
It is wrong to subject participants to a study, the side and long-term effects of which are unknown (Aschengrau & Seage, 2014). Regardless of the benefits of research, it is always necessary to consider morality as part of the ethics, since deviation from this concept may interfere with the way the society accepts the outcome (Danis et al., 2010; Tasse et al., 2010). All investigators are guided by a code of conduct, which requires them to protect the dignity and rights of other individuals (Kao et al., 2008).
It is ethical and morally correct to deny preventative measures to the participants in the placebo group. The aim of the placebo group is to provide better objectives for the study (Kao et al., 2008). According to Aschengrau and Seage (2014), such practices may be considered ethical if they will help in answering a relevant question in a study. In this case, the placebo group will help the researchers to make a comparison on whether the high fiber supplements prevent the occurrence of type 2 diabetes. For this reason, it is an ethical practice.
The potential benefits do not outweigh the risks of this study both to the participants and the society. First, it is obvious that the experiment may cause detrimental and long-lasting health problems to otherwise healthy individuals. Furthermore, the society may be forced to incur extra costs for treating the participants and correcting the numerous problems arising from the study. The society and the participants may not be in a position to handle these additional expenditures. According to Tasse et al. (2010), such a situation would only be considered beneficial if the researchers are completely certain of a positive outcome. Considering that the researchers appear not to have sufficient information, the risks are too high.
Aschengrau, A., & Seage, G. R., III. (2014). Essentials of epidemiology in public health (3rd ed). Jones & Bartlett.
Danis, M., Largent, E., Grady, C., Hull, S. C., & Wendler, D. (2010). Research ethics consultation: A casebook. Oxford University Press.
Kao, L., Tyson, J. E., Blakely, M. L., & Lally, K. P. (2008). Clinical research methodology I: Introduction to randomized trials. Journal of the American College of Surgeons, 206(2), 361-369.
Tasse, A. M., Budin-Ljøsne, A., Knoppers, B. M., & Harris, J. R. (2010). Retrospective access to data: The ENGAGE consent experience. European Journal of Human Genetics, 18, 741-745.