PURPOSE: To critically examine ethical issues in qualitative research. ORGANIZING CONSTRUCT: The ethical principles of autonomy, beneficence, and justice are guides for researchers to address initial and ongoing tensions between the needs and goals of the research and the rights of participants. METHODS: Research literature, ethics literature, and researcher experiences. CONCLUSIONS: Ethical principles can be used to guide the research in addressing the initial and ongoing issues arising from qualitative research in order to meet the goals of the research as well as to maintain the rights of the research participants.
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