Sara Parker and Ethics Response

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Respond with a reaction to a colleague’s views on the Sara Parker case study. Use these questions to guide your thinking:

  1. Do you think that research participants should be compensated?
  2. How would compensation impact voluntary participation?
  3. Do research regulations do enough to protect special populations?
  4. Are there any changes you would like to make to our current research protections?

Colleague: Paul

Post a response explaining your reaction to the Parker episode. Be sure to address whether or not the social worker violated any ethical mandates or standard. Also explain which strategies could have been used to guide ethical practice. Finally, described the responsibility of the social workers in the Parker case. Please use the resources to support your answers.

I think the social worker in the episode violated ethical standard. Although the concept of wrong or right is not so clear in this case, but it is clear to the social worker that involving Ms. Parker in this research or study will lead to a significant psychological and emotional damage on the part of Ms. Parker. The body language clearly tells it all that she was not interested in this kind of research. She made it known that she does not like people coming to know the way she lives her life. The social worker probably meant well for Ms. Parker by trying to help her with her hoarding problem, but the method she wants to go about it is unethical. Nobody should be tricked into participating in any research, including using money to entice a potential participant.

Avoiding deceptive practices is a strategy that could have been used to guide ethical practices in the Parker’s case. The penalty for deceptive practices should be severe enough that it will deter social workers and researchers from engaging in deceptive practices. It is sometime difficult to abide by all the five guidelines in conducting ethical research. According to Nicotera in the resource reading, students from marginalized groups are more likely to reject the notion that academic research is free from bias.

The social worker in Ms. Parker’s case owns it as a responsibility to make sure Ms. Parker is comfortable with the idea of being a participant in the impact of hoarding on family members’ research. It was visibly cleared that Ms. Parker didn’t want to be involved in that kind of invasive research. It is also the social worker’s responsibility to protect the privacy of Ms. Parker.


Nicotera, N, & Walls, N. E. (2010), Challenging perceptions of academic research as bias free: Promoting a social justice framework in social work research methods courses. Journal of Teaching in Social Work, 30(3), 334-350

Laerd dissertation (2017). Principles of Research: Retrieved from

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