All human interaction, including the interaction involved in human research, has ethical dimensions. However, ‘ethical conduct’ is more than simply doing the right thing. It involves acting in the right spirit, out of an abiding respect and concern for one’s fellow creatures.
Human research is conducted with or about people, or their data or tissue. Human participation in research is therefore to be understood broadly to include the involvement of human beings through: taking part in surveys, interviews or focus groups; undergoing psychological, physiological or medical testing or treatment; being observed by researchers; researchers having access to their personal documents or other materials; the collection and use of body organs, tissues or fluids (e.g skin, blood, urine, saliva, hair, bones, tumour and other biopsy specimens) or their exhaled breath; access to their information (in individually identifiable, re-identifiable or non-identifiable form) as part of an existing or published or unpublished source or database.
The James Cook University Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) reviews all research and teaching applications in accordance with the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (2007) - Updated 2018.