Navigating risks and professional roles: research with lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and queer young people with intellectual disabilities

Marshall Z.  Memorial University of Newfoundland.  J Empir Res Hum Res Ethics. 2012 Oct;7(4):20-33. doi: 10.1525/jer.2012.7.4.20.

We examine ethical issues that emerged during a community-based participatory research (CBPR) study in Toronto, Canada, exploring sexual health attitudes and practices among lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ) young people (ages 17-26) labeled with intellectual disabilities. These ethical concerns included: (1) managing the risk of coercion, (2) consent to participate in the study, (3) issues of confidentiality and disclosure, (4) balancing beneficence with self-determination, and (5) role conflict for researcher-practitioners who participate in CBPR projects. Incorporating critical disability perspectives and a heightened awareness of professional role conflict into CBPR practices has the potential to foster development of more inclusive and accessible sexual health initiatives and research environments.