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Governments, funders, and research bodies must take action to ensure that research is undertaken ethically during global health emergencies, says a new report from the Nuffield Council on Bioethics.

The call for action to research funders, governments, and others involved in health research systems for a more ethical and collaborative approach to conducting research during emergencies such as infectious disease outbreaks was issued today.

The latest novel coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China, illustrates how suddenly new threats can emerge, and the important role that research has to play in understanding the nature of the threat, and how to respond effectively.

The pressures and distressing circumstances of such emergency situations can lead to uncertainty about what is ethically acceptable with regards to conducting research, which may mean valuable research is impeded, or that unethical practices could creep in undetected.  

Read more on the Nuffield Department of Population Health website