Clinical Trial Ethics in the Era of COVID-19 Pandemic

Arslan M., Büken N.

Journal of Clinical and Experimenal Investigations, vol.12, no.1, pp.1-7, 2020 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)


The world has been suffering from the deadly effects of coronavirus and seemingly will continue to suffer for quite more time. Humanity has witnessed many kinds of outbreaks that have affected the population endemically or epidemically. Urgent need for treatment of COVID-19 is necessary and essential. In this article the cornerstones of clinical trial ethics, current publications and statements are analyzed to overcome the difficulties of pandemics with an additional focus on Turkey. The researching physician, volunteering patients, industry, institutions, and national/international ethico-legal bodies are playing important role in clinical research. As stated in the Hippocratic Oath, it is a physician’s duty to “first do no harm”. Many international documents also state the fact that preserving the dignity of people and basic rights is the most essential attitude. Clinical trials follow a certain set of principles regulated by legislative bodies. Medical ethics try to establish a common base for all research to fulfill the need for an internationally acceptable standard. Rather than serving the benefit of qualifications, ethical standards preserve qualitative values. It can be said that medical ethics is an appropriate discipline to serve the improvement of both science and morals.

Keywords: clinical trial ethics, COVID-19, research ethics, pandemics