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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Does Research Have Any Value in a Refugee Crisis? – Scholarly Kitchen (Haseeb Irfanullah | April 2020)0

Posted by Admin in on April 5, 2020
 

Bangladesh is now hosting more than 859,000 Rohingyas — the ethnic Muslim minority of Myanmar — at 34 refugee camps on its southeastern Cox’s Bazar-Teknaf peninsula. Between 25 August and 31 December 2017, over 723,000 Rohingyas entered Bangladesh to save themselves from genocide in Myanmar. These people are staying in camps created by clearing 2,500 hectares of forestland. The Government of Bangladesh, donors, UN agencies, and national and international NGOs are collectively managing this unmeasurable humanitarian crisis.

This Scholarly Kitchen piece makes a good point about worrying less about publishing in prestigious journals for academic sake and more about making sure the outcomes are given to people who can actually make use of the information.

The challenges around this crisis are multi-dimensional and complex — fulfilling refugees’ everyday basic needs, protecting them from illegal exploitation, ensuring the future of the 55% who are children, saving them from epidemics and pandemics, reducing potential tension between the Rohingya refugees and the Bangladeshi hosts, and tackling geopolitics around this crisis to name but a few. To researchers, this crisis gives a tremendous opportunity to explore the situations, explain the challenges, test ideas and innovations, recommend solutions, and evaluate actions.
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But academic research takes time. Response to humanitarian emergencies like a refugee crisis, on the other hand, is all about urgent action. Here a delay can be a question of life or death. Refugee crises thus demand actions based upon past experiences — what worked and what could work given certain factors within a specific context and ground reality.
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Friday afternoon’s funny – Consent: Location, location, location0

Posted by Admin in on April 3, 2020
 

Cartoon by Don Mayne www.researchcartoons.com
Full-size image for printing (right mouse click and save file)

Like location is an important consideration (some might say a primary consideration) in real estate, it is fundamental to the ethical design of consent processes.

Flattening the Curve, Then What? – The Hastings Center – Infographic Now Added (Mark A. Rothstein | March 2020)0

Posted by Admin in on March 29, 2020
 

The metaphor “flattening the curve” has succinctly captured the challenge of responding to the coronavirus pandemic in the United States. With no vaccine or effective treatment, the use of social distancing measures attempts to delay the spread of infection and keep the need for intensive, hospital-based health services within the capacity of our health care system. Unfortunately, too narrow a focus on flattening the curve may obscure larger gaps and deficiencies in our public health system that we have long ignored and must address.

A characteristically articulate and incisive reflection on where to next for COVID-19.

Besides lowering the peak demand for health services, the “flattening” approach includes raising the baseline of available resources, such as coronavirus tests, hospital and ICU beds, ventilators, personal protective equipment, and trained health care workers. In short, we need greater surge capacity. Although a lack of funding for public health infrastructure and personnel is evident, another key reason for a lack of surge capacity is that excess capacity is inconsistent with the business models of for-profit hospitals, bottom-line sensitive nonprofit hospitals, and underfunded public hospitals. Most hospital administrators and executives traditionally have sought to increase utilization rates and eliminate excess capacity, such as empty beds and unused equipment and supplies.
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The nationwide pandemic also highlights the fragmentation of our public health system. Unlike most countries, the U.S. has no national public health agency, with public health primarily the responsibility of state and local governments. Many jurisdictions lack the financial means or expertise to respond to a public health emergency, including the ability to manage quarantine or other mandatory social distancing measures. The authority of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is limited to controlling international and interstate health threats, as well as providing research, education, laboratory services, data collection and analysis, consultation, and policy recommendations for the states. A more centralized public health structure, regardless of the merits, would run counter to practices in place since colonial times and reflected in the Constitution’s separation of powers between the federal and state governments.
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Infographic about COVID-19

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To access the full-size infographic, right-click this link and select save as
The above infographic is a modified version of a resource from Shutterstock.

Friday afternoon’s funny – Risks already present0

Posted by Admin in on March 27, 2020
 

Cartoon by Don Mayne www.researchcartoons.com
Full-size image for printing (right mouse click and save file)

Some research projects (such as sport-related work) involve participants already engaged in a risky undertaking.  For research ethics reviewers this raises the question of whether their reflection on beneficence is the risks in the substantive activity or only the additional risk introduced by the research activity.

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