Annette Rid
University of Zürich
In his stimulating target article, 1 Philippe Calain discusses how the traditional ethical framework for clinical research was challenged during the 2013–2016 Ebola epidemic in West Africa. One of his key claims is that conventional research ethics did not have the resources to address the ‘profound tension’ 1, between individual and public interests in clinical research during this epidemic. I agree with this claim, but would like to provide a modified argument in its support. As Calain points out, although a tension between individual and public interests in clinical research always exists, this tension was heightened during the Ebola epidemic. Ebola had an average fatality rate of 40%–60% in this outbreak and reached up to 90% in some locations. Appropriate personal protective equipment was not always available; the level of benefit from supportive care was contested; and there were no targeted treatments and vaccines for the...
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DOI 10.1136/medethics-2016-104120
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