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August 16, 2011

The chicken and the egg

Understanding ethics without words

Completing this project in an ethical manner could be tricky. We want to involve people who find complex ideas very difficult to understand, and even more difficult to communicate. This makes it difficult for them to share their ideas and experiences in a way that people will understand. I need to be really creative - and hope that the good people at IATL Warwick will help with this!

true participation - the chicken and the egg

In order for the citizens in this activity to be truly directive, we would like to involve them from the start - right now. But we will need approval for the ethics of our plan, and we will need consent, in many cases, from the familes of the individuals to be involved. We hope that we can gain approval for the particiapnts to be involved without too rigid a set of rules developing, which might constrain our work together further down the line. You can't get involvement without ethics approval (for very good reasons) but without the involvment of people, should one really be allowed ethics approval?

true consent - check, check and check again

True consent cannot be sought unless the person consenting to an event has a good idea of what might happen. Given that no-one yet knows what the outcome of this learning experience might be, it could be difficult to gain this consent. For some of the people I hope to involve, a relative who can understand complex concepts more easily will give consent on their behalf. This is important, as people who know an individual are best placed to make decisions in their best interest. However, we hope that this can be an empowering experience as well as a useful one. By endeavouring to make the experience of this experiment pleasurable in itself, and ensuring that people who are in discomfort can remove themselves as they wish, we hope that people's consent can be sought throughout the sessions, through non-verbal means.

This is an attempt to start as we mean to go on!

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  • Thanks for your comments. I'm very much hoping that some citizens of Coventry are willing to get inv… by on this entry
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