The doctor can “see” you now – the ethical considerations of patient rights and safeguards in online mental health act assessments during Covid-19

By Lisa Schölin and Arun Chopra. It is fair to say that when the pandemic hit we were not entirely prepared to move our social lives, work, and healthcare to online platforms. Yet, we had to. But in which services, and more specifically in what situations, can remote contact sufficiently, legally, and safely be used […]

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Do controlled human infection studies put bystanders at higher risk than conventional field trials?

By Kyungdo Lee and Nir Eyal. A dose-determining study toward the world’s first controlled human infection (abbreviated as CHI) COVID vaccine study has launched in the UK. A COVID vaccine CHI would typically enroll a few dozen young and healthy volunteers, excluding people at higher risk of severe outcomes. After admission to an isolated research […]

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Making a killing: The imperative to waive COVID-19 vaccine intellectual property rights

By Harry Hudson Recent lobbying disclosures revealed that over 100 lobbyists have been deployed to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) by the pharmaceutical industry to block generic manufacture of COVID-19 vaccines. The background here is that the richest countries have over half the purchased vaccine doses, yet only 16% of the global population. This has […]

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Ethics guidance for biobanking practice in low-and middle-income-countries during COVID-19

By Shenuka Singh, Rosemary Jean Cadigan and Keymanthri Moodley Biobanking has the potential to make valuable contributions to health research through the collection, storage and sharing of human samples and data for research purposes. During the COVID-19 pandemic, storing samples for future research is a public health imperative. There are, however, several ethical concerns. These […]

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Solidarity, trust and the governance of data sharing during a public health emergency

By Ciara Staunton and Deborah Mascalzoni. The timely access to and sharing of personal data during a public health emergency (PHE) is critical. It is essential for disease surveillance, to inform national and more localised responses, but it is also critical for research into new diagnostics, therapies and vaccines, as well as safety monitoring of […]

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Age-selective mixing to control the COVID-19 epidemic – still relevant in 2021?

James M Trauer, Ben J Marais, Romain Ragonnet, Bridget M Williams, James Cameron, Julian Savulescu. In a previous blog and now feature article in JME we explored the ethics of selective liberty restriction of the vulnerable. In that paper, we considered whether differential liberty restriction could be ethically justified. Here we consider the complementary public […]

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The health supply chain and bioethics: Notes towards a person-centred approach to the health supply chain

By Michael Saunders.  In our ongoing research on the COVID-19 pandemic, supply chain strategy, and health system outcomes in Canada, we have heard frequently about the incredible increase in cost of personal protective equipment (PPE) during the first wave of the pandemic. We have heard as well about the cost-saving pressures that regularly shape health […]

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Challenge studies for COVID-19: Now is still not the time

By Françoise Baylis and Landon J Getz Two challenge studies for COVID-19 involving the deliberate infection of healthy volunteers aged 18-30 are underway in the UK. Both studies involve the original strain of SARS-CoV-2 from Wuhan China, and not the recent variants of concern – commonly referred to as B.1.1.7, B.1.351 and P.1. These variants […]

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UK COVID-19 human challenge trials need participants. International volunteers are ready to heed the call

By Zacharia Kafuko. Last month, the UK government approved a bold innovation that will take us closer to finally ending the COVID-19 pandemic: human challenge trials, which involve deliberately exposing volunteers to the coronavirus to help researchers study the disease. The first trial began in London in early March, involving up to ninety volunteers. Another trial, which […]

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