Research in the Time of COVID-19: Challenges of Research Ethics Committees
Compliance with ethics guidelines for research are even more critical in the time of emergency public health situations such as a pandemic. Underpinned by the principles laid out in the 1979 Belmont report, conduct of research at any time should focus on respect for persons, beneficence and justice. Certain Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in research ethics committees may be revised to provide a quicker turn-around and timely review. Key elements in effective review of studies include rigorousness, responsiveness and timeliness. It is crucial to recognize that ethics review committees share responsibility with researchers and its institutions, funding agencies and regulatory agencies for upholding ethical principles in research at all times.
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