Browsing by Author "Rennie, Stuart"
Now showing 1 - 5 of 5
Results Per Page
- ItemAdvancing research ethics training in Southern Africa (ARESA)(Health and Medical Publishing Group (HMPG), 2012-12) Moodley, Keymanthri; Rennie, StuartSouthern Africa is a research-rich environment in which research ethics review is critical. The research ethics review system is well established but considerable variability in capacity and training exists among the various research ethics committees (RECs) in the region. The ARESA programme comprises a Postgraduate Diploma in Health Research Ethics, an annual seminar, a newsletter and an association of REC members. The programme has been developed to promote health in the region via capacity development in the field of research ethics.
- ItemAllocation of scarce resources in Africa during COVID‐19 : utility and justice for the bottom of the pyramid?(John Wiley & Sons, 2020-08-26) Moodley, Keymanthri; Rennie, Stuart; Behets, Frieda; Obasa, Adetayo Emmanuel; Yemesi, Robert; Ravez, Laurent; Kayembe, Patrick; Makindu, Darius; Mwinga, Alwyn; Jaoko, WalterThe COVID‐19 pandemic has raised important universal public health challenges. Conceiving ethical responses to these challenges is a public health imperative but must take context into account. This is particularly important in sub‐Saharan Africa (SSA). In this paper, we examine how some of the ethical recommendations offered so far in high‐income countries might appear from a SSA perspective. We also reflect on some of the key ethical challenges raised by the COVID‐19 pandemic in low‐income countries suffering from chronic shortages in health care resources, and chronic high morbidity and mortality from non‐COVID‐19 causes. A parallel is drawn between the distribution of severity of COVID‐19 disease and the classic “Fortune at the bottom of the pyramid” model that is relevant in SSA. Focusing allocation of resources during COVID‐19 on the ‘thick’ part of the pyramid in Low‐to‐Middle Income Countries (LMICs) could be ethically justified on utilitarian and social justice grounds, since it prioritizes a large number of persons who have been economically and socially marginalized. During the pandemic, importing allocation frameworks focused on the apex of the pyramid from the global north may therefore not always be appropriate. In a post‐COVID‐19 world, we need to think strategically about how health care systems can be financed and structured to ensure broad access to adequate health care for all who need it. The root problems underlying health inequity, exposed by COVID‐19, must be addressed, not just to prepare for the next pandemic, but to care for people in resource poor settings in non‐pandemic times.
- ItemEnhancing ethics review of social and behavioral research : developing a review template in Ethiopia(Sage, 2019-08-09) Wassie, Liya; Gebre-Mariam, Senkenesh; Tarekegne, Geremew; Rennie, StuartBackground: Africa is increasingly becoming an important region for health research, mainly due to its heavy burden of disease, socioeconomic challenges, and inadequate health facilities. Regulatory capacities, in terms of ethical review processes, are also generally weak. The ethical assessment of social and behavioral research is relatively neglected compared to the review of biomedical and clinical studies, which led us to develop an ethics review assessment tool for use in the review of social and behavioral research in Ethiopia, which could potentially be of value in low- and middle-income settings. Methods: Initially, we did a comprehensive literature review on principles, guidelines, and practices of research ethics, on social and behavioral studies, from which we extracted query terms to explore the opinions of selected key informants and focus groups in Ethiopia. The discussants and informants were selected using a convenience sampling method to evaluate an ethics review template, which integrated issues that commonly arise in social and behavioral studies. Finally, we directly solicited opinions from the discussants about the desirability, feasibility, acceptability, and relevance of the ethics review assessment tool and used the resulting data to refine our initial draft. Results and conclusion: Although the same basic ethics principles govern all research studies, social and behavioral research have some disciplinary particularities that may require reviewers to exercise a different orientation of ethical attention in some cases. Using a qualitative approach, we developed a review assessment tool that could potentially be useful to raise awareness, focus attention, and strengthen the review of social and behavioral studies by ethics review committees, particularly in settings without a long-standing tradition of reviewing such research. This process also exposed some areas where further capacity building and discussion of ethical issues may be necessary among stakeholders in the review of social and behavioral research.
- ItemThe ethics of talking about ‘HIV cure’(BioMed Central, 2015-03) Rennie, Stuart; Siedner, Mark; Tucker, Joseph D.; Moodley, KeymanthriBackground In 2008, researchers reported that Timothy Brown (the ‘Berlin Patient’), a man with HIV infection and leukemia, received a stem-cell transplant that removed HIV from his body as far as can be detected. In 2013, an infant born with HIV infection received anti-retroviral treatment shortly after birth, but was then lost to the health care system for the next six months. When tested for HIV upon return, the child (the ‘Mississippi Baby’) had no detectable viral load despite cessation of treatment. These remarkable clinical developments have helped reinvigorate the field of ‘HIV cure’ research. Discussion Although this research field is largely in a pre-clinical phase, talk about curing HIV has become a regular feature in the global mass media. This paper explores the language of HIV cure from philosophical, ethical and historical perspectives. Examination of currently influential definitions of ‘functional’ and ‘sterilizing’ HIV cure reveal that these conceptualizations are more complicated than they seem. Cure is often understood in narrowly biomedical terms in isolation from the social and psychological dimensions of illness. Contemporary notions of HIV cure also inherit some of the epistemic problems traditionally associated with cures for other health conditions, such as cancer. Efforts to gain greater conceptual clarity about cure lead to the normative question of how ‘HIV cure research’ ought to be talked about. Summary We argue that attention to basic concepts ethically matter in this context, and identify advantages as well as potential pitfalls of how different HIV/AIDS stakeholders may make use of the concept of cure. While concepts other than cure (such as remission) may be appropriate in clinical contexts, use of the word cure may be justified for other important purposes in the struggle against HIV/AIDS.
- ItemWhat could "fair allocation" during the Covid-19 crisis possibly mean in Sub-Saharan Africa?(Wiley, 2020-06) Moodley, Keymanthri; Ravez, Laurent; Obasa, Adetayo Emmanuel; Mwinga, Alwyn; Jaoko, Walter; Makindu, Darius; Behets, Frieda; Rennie, StuartThe Covid-19 pandemic has sparked rapid and voluminous production of bioethics commentary in popular media and academic publications. Many of the discussions are new twists on an old theme: how to fairly allocate scarce medical resources, such as ventilators and intensive care unit beds. In this essay, we do not add another allocation scheme to the growing pile, partly out of appreciation that such schemes should be products of inclusive and transparent community engagement and partly out of recognition of their limited utility for physicians working in the field. Instead, we make the more modest claim that context matters when making such decisions and, more specifically, that recommendations from high-income countries about fair allocation during Covid-19 should not be cut and pasted into low-income settings. We offer a few examples of why seemingly universal, well-intentioned ethical recommendations could have adverse consequences if unreflectively applied in sub-Saharan Africa.