On December 1st, Prof. Fr. Joseph Tham, LC, Full Professor in Bioethics and Research Scholar of the UNESCO Chair in Bioethics and Human Rights, will present during the ‘World Medical Association’s Regional Expert Meeting in Pacific on the WMA Declaration of Helsinki’ organized by the World Medical Association.
Ethics of research in conflict settings
Research and trials would pose a significant challenge in conflict settings due to political instability, depravations, and lack of infrastructure. Humanitarian organizations naturally prioritize aid over research and may need more expertise, resources, and infrastructure to conduct valid research. Nonetheless, some advocates see value in them as they can measure the cost of the conflicts and the feasibility and effectiveness of interventions. The ethical challenges are informed consent, research design and review, and benefits to participants and vulnerable groups. p Declaration of Helsinki has not addressed research ethics in conflict settings. However, paragraphs on the necessity of research (26-28), informed consent (25-32), vulnerability (19-20) and benefits to participants (8, 34) are pertinent to this analysis and may benefit from further reflection. The presentation will end with a virtue ethics approach that can bridge the East-West gap in addressing this topic.