About this Seminar:
Public health emergencies, whether natural or man-made, local or global, in peacetime or during armed conflicts are always associated with the need to collect data (and sometimes biological samples) about and from those affected by these emergencies.
Research or not research? This is not the question
One of the central questions in the relevant literature is whether the activities that involve the collection of data and/or biological samples are considered ‘research’, with the subsequent endeavour to define what ‘research’ is and whether they should be submitted for ethical approval or not. In this seminar, I will argue that this is not the central question when it comes to research/public health/humanitarian ethics. Using the findings of a systematic review on the research conducted in Darfur and findings from a qualitative project that aimed at defining what constitutes ‘research’ in public health emergencies I will, alternatively, present what I refer to as the ‘ethical characterization’ of these research-like activities and how they can be ethically guided.