Humanitarian research: Ethical considerations in conducting research during global health emergencies

Agomoni Ganguli-Mitra, Matthew Hunt

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract / Description of output

Global health emergencies (GHEs) are situations of heightened and widespread health crisis, that usually require the attention and mobilisation of actors and institutions beyond national borders. Conducting research in such contexts is both ethically imperative and requires particular ethical and regulatory scrutiny. While global health emergency research (GHER) serves a crucial function of learning how to improve care and services for individuals, it is difficult to fully capture the range of ethical considerations that arise, let alone provide a one-size-fits-all solution to such question. Using illustrations drawn from research projects conducted during GHEs, in this chapter we discuss key ethical issues and governance implications of GHER, beyond those traditionally associated with biomedical research, and explore the future direction of oversight for GHER. After setting out the complex context of GHER, we illustrate the various ethical issues associated with research and in justifying research, including considerations related to context, social value and engagement with the affected communities. Finally, we explore some of the new orientations and lenses in the governance of GHER through recent guidelines and developing practices.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Cambridge Handbook of Health Research Regulation
EditorsGraeme Laurie, Edward Dove, Agomoni Ganguli-Mitra, Catriona McMillan, Emily Postan, Nayha Sethi, Annie Sorbie
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherUniversity of Cambridge
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781108620024, 9781108576093
ISBN (Print)9781108475976
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jun 2021

Publication series

NameCambridge Law Handbooks

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • research ethics
  • global health emergencies
  • humanitarian crises
  • research governance
  • responsive oversight


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