Skip to main content

A pandemic changes the context of some research

  • In considering whether to adopt particular public health strategies, countries should rely on the best available scientific evidence. WHO Ethics in Pandemic Flu
  • Involve an investment of resources in collecting ethically and methodologically sound evidence. APHA Code of Ethics, 4.10.6.
  • Research should be conducted only if it does not impede emergency response efforts. Who Ethical Standards for Research During Public Health Emergencies
  • During an infectious disease outbreak there is a moral obligation to learn as much as possible as quickly as possible, in order to inform the ongoing public health response, and to allow for proper scientific evaluation of new interventions being tested. WHO Ethics in an Outbreak
  • National authorities and international organizations should seek to coordinate research projects in order to set priorities that are consistent with broader outbreak response efforts. WHO Ethics in an Outbreak
  • MEURI [Monitored emergency use of unregistered and experimental interventions] should not preclude or delay the initiation of clinical research into experimental products. In addition, it should not divert attention or resources from the implementation of effective clinical care and/or public health measures that may be crucial to control an outbreak. WHO Ethics in an Outbreak
  • Any known risks associated with an intervention should be minimized to the extent reasonably possible. WHO Ethics in an Outbreak
  • Physicians overseeing MEURI have the same moral obligation to collect all scientifically relevant data on the safety and efficacy of the intervention as researchers overseeing a clinical trial. WHO Ethics in an Outbreak
  • Individuals who are offered MEURI should be made aware that the intervention might not benefit them and might even harm them.WHO Ethics in an Outbreak