4.8 - Persons Who Are in a Subordinate Relationship to Researchers

Persons who are in a subordinate relationship to researchers may experience a loss of autonomy because of that relationship. Students, employees, and patients may fear a loss of grades, work benefits, or maximal health care when they are asked to be research subjects. This means that they are subject to undue coercion, even if researchers do not intend to be coercive. Therefore, proposed research using any subjects who are in direct subordinate relationships to investigators is scrutinized by the IRB. The researcher is obligated to inform the subject clearly that the subject's participation is voluntary, that the subject may withdraw from participation at any time, and that grades, employment, or health care will not be affected by the subject's choice to participate or not to participate.