Ethics of Research and Practice
Ethics is at the centre of all the work that is conducted by the Programme, as an area of scientific enquiry and in the operations of the Programme’s activities. Our aim is to contribute to ethics discourse, policy and practice for health and research systems through innovative empirical ethics and normative discourse. Empirical ethics studies undertaken as stand-alone pieces of work or embedded within the diverse sets of research undertaken in the Programme aim to contribute to deeper understanding of ethical and social-cultural issues for research in resource limited settings, contribute to wider disourse on ethical conduct of research in LMIC and in Global health, and feed into practice and policies within the institution, and at national and global levels. Empirical ethics underpins our ethics enquiries, including recognising that while ethical principles maybe universal, the way these are implemented requires paying attention to contextual issues ((Emanuel, Wendler et al. 2004)). We are proactive and anticipatory in our ethics inquiries, conducting empirical ethics in diverse fields of scientific enquiry including in access to existing technologies (vaccines, medicines, medical equipment); emerging technologies (biobanking, controlled Human Infection Studies, cell line creation); ethically complex topics (involvement of vulnerable populations, young persons, people with intellectual disability in health research); epidemic/pandemic ethics (review systems preparedness; responsiveness of research institutions, ethics of COVID19 vaccine donations); ethics of non-biomedical research approaches (implementation and participatory research); and public health/health systems ethics (AMR programming, moral distress among health care workers). A cross cutting concern regarding ethics in research and practice is justice, and how greater equity might be supported through policy and practice change at all levels.