This open access book offers insights into the development of the ground-breaking Global Code of Conduct for Research in Resource-Poor Settings (GCC) and the San Code of Research Ethics. Using a new, intuitive moral framework predicated on fairness, respect, care and honesty, both codes target ethics dumping – the export of unethical research practices from a high-income setting to a lower- or middle-income setting. The book is a rich resource of information and argument for any research stakeholder who opposes double (...) standards in research. It will be indispensable for applicants to European Union framework programmes, as the GCC is now a mandatory reference document for EU funding. (shrink)
Ethics dumping is the practice of undertaking research in a low- or middle-income setting which would not be permitted, or would be severely restricted, in a high-income setting. Whilst Kenya operates a sophisticated research governance system, resource constraints and the relatively low number of accredited research ethics committees limit the capacity for ensuring ethical compliance. As a result, Kenya has been experiencing cases of ethics dumping. This article presents 11 challenges in the context of preventing ethics dumping in Kenya, namely (...) variations in governance standards, resistance to double ethics review, resource constraints, unresolved issues in the management of biological samples, unresolved issues in the management of primary data, unsuitable informed consent procedures, cultural insensitivity, differing standards of care, reluctance to provide feedback to research communities, power differentials which facilitate the exploitation of local researchers and lack of local relevance and/or affordability of the resultant products. A reflective approach for researchers, built around the values of fairness, respect, care and honesty, is presented as a means of taking shared responsibility for preventing ethics dumping. (shrink)
The use of non-human primates in biomedical research is a contentious issue that raises serious ethical and practical concerns. In the European UnionEuropean Union, where regulations on their use are very tight, the number of non-human primates used in research has been in decline over the past decade. However, this decline has been paralleled by an increase in numbers used elsewhere in the world, with less regard for some of the ethical issues. There is evidence that researchers from high-income countries, (...) where regulations on the use of non-human primates are strict, may be tempted to conduct some of their experiments in countries where regulation is less strict, through new collaborative efforts. In collaborative ventures, equivalence in the application of ethical standardsEthical standards in animal research, regardless of location, is necessary to avoid this exploitationExploitation. (shrink)
Ethics dumping is a global phenomenon involving the ‘off-shoring’of research. Research that would be prohibited, severely restrictedor regarded as highly patronizing in high-income regions is instead conducted inresource-poor settings. Twenty-eight case studies of ethics dumping were examined through inductive thematic analysis to reveal predisposing factors from the perspective of researchers from high-income regions. Six categories were agreed and further illuminated: Patronizing conduct, unfair distribution of benefits and/or burdens, culturally inappropriate conduct, double standards, lack of due diligence and lack of transparency. (...) The ultimate aim of the paper is to deepen understanding of thesehighly unethical practicesamongst academics who stand against poverty, leading to theirfurther reduction. (shrink)
The Global Code of Conduct for Research in Resource-Poor Settings (GCC) aims to stop the export of unethical research practices from higher to lower income settings. Launched in 2018, the GCC was immediately adopted by European Commission funding streams for application in research that is situated in lower and lower-middle income countries. Other institutions soon followed suit. This article reports on the application of the GCC in two of the first UK-funded projects to implement this new code, one situated in (...) India and one in Pakistan. Through systematic ethics evaluation of both projects, the practical application of the GCC in real-world environments was tested. The findings of this ethics evaluation suggest that while there are challenges for implementation, application of the GCC can promote equity in international research collaborations. (shrink)
Achieving equity in international research is one of the pressing concerns of the twenty-first century. In this era of progressive globalization, there are many opportunities for the deliberate or accidental export of unethical research practices from high-income regions to low- and middle-income countries and emerging economies. The export of unethical practices, termed “ethics dumping,” may occur through all forms of research and can affect individuals, communities, countries, animals, and the environment. Ethics dumping may be the result of purposeful exploitation but (...) often arises from lack of awareness of good ethical and governance practice. This chapter describes the work of the TRUST project toward counteracting the practice of ethics dumping through the development of tools for the improvement of research governance structures. Multi-stakeholder consultation informs all of TRUST’s developments. Most importantly, this gives voice to marginalized vulnerable groups and indigenous people, who have been equal and active partners throughout the project. At the heart of the TRUST project is an ambitious aim to develop a Global Code of Conduct for Research in Resource-Poor Settings. Uniquely, the Code provides guidance across all research disciplines in clear, short statements, focusing on research collaborations that entail considerable imbalances of power, resources and knowledge and using a new framework based on the values of fairness, respect, care, and honesty. The code was recently adopted by the European Commission as a reference document for Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe. (shrink)
Cross-sectorial, dynamic, and innovative partnerships are essential to resolve the challenges of humankind in the 21st century. At the same time, trust in each other’s integrity and good will is a precondition for the solution of any complex problem, and certainly for the success of the United Nations Sustainable Development Agenda. Experience shows that a nation’s economic and social success is at its greatest if, and when, there is cooperation and even cocreation involving a fair division of labor and responsibility (...) among the different societal stakeholders. This paper uses Ralf Dahrendorf’s seminal work on obligations, as well as the European Commission’s Science with and for Society unit’s definition of responsible research and innovation (RRI), to motivate industry responsibilities to make the world a healthier place. (shrink)
An increase in the number of companies that publish corporate social responsibility (CSR) statements, and a rise in their ‘sustainability’ research, reflects a growing acceptance that broad ethical considerations are key for any type of company. However, little is known about how companies consider moral objectives for their research and development (R&D) activities, or the basis upon which these activities are chosen. This research involves qualitative investigation into Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry, (...) comprising 30 in-depth, pan-European interviews with key personnel in the industry, and focus groups with employees at 14 different companies. Through investigation of the ‘responsible’ activities these companies currently undertake, we shed light on the types of moral goals they set and their underlying ethical standpoints. By reviewing both the responsible innovation and sustainability discourses, and presenting phenomenological evidence, we demonstrate that companies have adopted some aspects of RRI, even though it might not be recognised as such. Our findings indicate that these innovators recognise some of the ethical and societal concerns associated with their activities but their approach is often piecemeal; primary focus is upon the most immediate issues and on legal compliance, to the detriment of broader societal issues and wider challenges. We recommend explicit mechanisms that draw upon established ethical thought and practical academic work to improve companies' abilities to carry out their sustainability activities, and incorporate them into a responsible business strategy. We conclude with recommendations for innovators, corporate research and development, and policy. (shrink)
The use of non-human primates in biomedical research is a contentious issue that raises serious ethical and practical concerns. In the European Union, where regulations on their use are very tight, the number of non-human primates used in research has been in decline over the past decade. However, this decline has been paralleled by an increase in numbers used elsewhere in the world, with less regard for some of the ethical issues (e.g. genetic manipulations). There is evidence that researchers from (...) high-income countries (HICs), where regulations on the use of non-human primates are strict, may be tempted to conduct some of their experiments in countries where regulation is less strict, through new collaborative efforts. In collaborative ventures, equivalence in the application of ethical standards in animal research, regardless of location, is necessary to avoid this exploitation. (shrink)
In this short response we show that Kevin Smith's moral and ethical rejections of homeopathy1 are fallacious and rest on questionable epistemology. Further, we suggest Smith's presumption of a utilitarian stance is an example of scientism encroaching into medicine.
The impact of the SARS‐CoV‐2 (COVID‐19) pandemic on medical education is well described. Here, we describe an aspect that has received little attention so far, namely the ethical implications of continued bedside teaching. As a team of clinical educators supported by one of our students and an ethicist, we describe this unexpected challenge and how we navigated it in an already existing sea of COVID‐induced issues and uncertainty.
This editorial introduces a revised set of publication requirements for papers, submitted to Homeopathy, that involve animal experimentation. Journals that publish studies involving animal experimentation have a major role to play in the maintenance of ethical standards because researchers are reliant upon them for publication of their findings. With an increasing global trend towards greater transparency and accountability in animal experimentation, many academic journals, such as the British Journal of Pharmacology, 1 and 2 are taking action to improve reporting standards. (...) In recognition of this need, members of Homeopathy's Editorial Board have been working together to examine the scientific rationale and the most relevant ethical guidelines for the use of animals in research. In addition, they have examined existing published studies in homeopathy research and current practice within the broad domain of medical research. Each of these aspects has informed the revised publication policy, whose overarching objectives are to maximise the ethical standards and scientific quality of animal research in homeopathy, and thereby ultimately to avoid any unnecessary suffering of animals used in such research. The following description details the background that was considered, the rationale for this development, and the steps that will be taken. (shrink)
This book provides a systematic analysis of the ethical implications of traditional and complementary medicine, focusing on pragmatic solutions. The author uses a bioethical methodology called the “Ethical Matrix,” to consider the impact of T&CM use for animals and the environment as well as for humans. A systematic search of the literature reveals that most published ethical concerns are related to the safety of T&CM use for humans. However, application of the Ethical Matrix demonstrates that the ethical implications for T&CM (...) use are much broader. In this book, the author analyses the most serious implications, including adverse events related to homeopathy, the use of animals in T&CM products, and the impact of herbal medicine on the environment. Comparisons with the ethical implications of conventional biomedicine help readers to contextualise debate, and highlight aspects that may be unique to T&CM. Globally, many high-level health policy makers promote T&CM as an accessible and affordable healthcare option. However, their use is considered by some to be a waste of resources, unscientific, and unethical. Offering a frank analysis of this largely ignored field of healthcare ethics, this book is both timely and essential. It helps patients, policy makers, practitioners, researchers, and students gain the knowledge they need to make more informed decisions. (shrink)