Back to WHAT? The role of research ethics in pandemic times

November 3, 2020

Solbakk JH, Bentzen HB, Holm S, et al.

Medicine, health care, and philosophy

Science, particularly the life-changing kind, takes its time to gestate. The speed at which COVID-19 is taking lives away, of course, makes us want to come to the right answers faster, but at what cost? This article lays out and analyzes the several international documents that have been created in order to protect human rights against any scientific, political, or economic agenda and the authors rightly sustain with various arguments such as detailing the types of uncertainties and historical examples of research backlashes the fact that SARS-CoV-2 CHIMs should be considered “unacceptable” at the moment. The end can not justify impertinent means, and if social safety means going over individual rights, then we have to restructure the ways to that safety. The text shows that tactics like the WHO Solidarity Call for a Covid-19 Technology Access Pool are the ones to be encouraged, not only because it has given fruits already but because signatures from crucial countries like the US or the UK are still missing. A crisis represents the chance to elucidate progress; nevertheless we should walk towards that path without forgetting the ethical reasonings and values our historical global memory has come to give birth.

Solbakk JH, Bentzen HB, Holm S, et al. Back to WHAT? The role of research ethics in pandemic times [published online ahead of print, 2020 Nov 3]. Med Health Care Philos. 2020;1-18. doi:10.1007/s11019-020-09984-x

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