Ethical problems in conducting research in acute epidemics: The pfizer meningitis study in nigeria as an illustration
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Developing World Bioethics 10 (1):1-10 (2010)
The ethics of conducting research in epidemic situations have yet to account fully for differences in the proportion and acuteness of epidemics, among other factors. While epidemics most often arise from infectious diseases, not all infectious diseases are of epidemic proportions, and not all epidemics occur acutely. These and other variations constrain the generalization of ethical decision-making and impose ethical demands on the individual researcher in a way not previously highlighted. This paper discusses a number of such constraints and impositions. It applies the ethical principles enunciated by Emmanuel et al.1 to the controversial Pfizer study in Nigeria in order to highlight the particular ethical concerns of acute epidemic research, and suggest ways of meeting such challenges. The paper recommends that research during epidemics should be partly evaluated on its own merits in order to determine its ethical appropriateness to the specific situation. Snap decisions to conduct research during acute epidemics should be resisted. Community engagement, public notification and good information management are needed to promote the ethics of conducting research during acute epidemics. Individual consent is most at risk of being compromised, and every effort should be made to ensure that it is maintained and valid. Use of data safety management boards should be routine. Acute epidemics also present opportunities to enhance the social value of research and maximize its benefits to communities. Ethical research is possible in acute epidemics, if the potential challenges are thought of ahead of time and appropriate precautions taken.
|Keywords||epidemics research ethics Pfizer acute|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Robert J. Gatchel, Perry N. Fuchs & Colin Allen (2006). 18 Ethical Issues in Chronic Pain Research. In B. L. Gant & M. E. Schatman (eds.), Ethical Issues in Chronic Pain Management. 295.
Pam McGrath, David Henderson & Hamish Holewa (2006). Patient-Centred Care: Qualitative Findings on Health Professionals' Understanding of Ethics in Acute Medicine. [REVIEW] Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 3 (3):149-160.
R. J. Gatchel, Colin Allen & P. N. Fuchs (2006). Ethical Issues in Chronic Pain Research. In B. L. Gant & M. E. Schatman (eds.), Ethical Issues in Chronic Pain Management. 295.
Pam McGrath & Hamish Holewa (2006). Ethical Decision Making in an Acute Medical Ward: Australian Findings on Dealing with Conflict and Tension. Ethics and Behavior 16 (3):233 – 252.
Samuel J. Huber & Matthew K. Wynia (2004). When Pestilence Prevails Physician Responsibilities in Epidemics. American Journal of Bioethics 4 (1):5 – 11.
Frederick T. L. Leong & Brent Lyons (2011). Ethical Challenges for Cross-Cultural Research Conducted by Psychologists From the United States. Ethics and Behavior 20 (3):250-264.
Vivien Runnels, Elizabeth Hay, Elyse Sevigny & Paddi O’Hara (2009). The Ethics of Conducting Community-Engaged Homelessness Research. Journal of Academic Ethics 7 (1-2):57-68.
Jeff Blackmer (2003). The Unique Ethical Challenges of Conducting Research in the Rehabilitation Medicine Population. BMC Medical Ethics 4 (1):1-6.
Ayodele S. Jegede (2009). Understanding Informed Consent for Participation in International Health Research. Developing World Bioethics 9 (2):81-87.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads13 ( #255,413 of 1,790,290 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #429,822 of 1,790,290 )
How can I increase my downloads?