Published online Mar 19, 2021. doi: 10.5498/wjp.v11.i3.58
Peer-review started: December 15, 2020
First decision: January 7, 2021
Revised: January 28, 2021
Accepted: March 8, 2021
Article in press: March 8, 2021
Published online: March 19, 2021
Pandemics disrupt clinical trials worldwide, with lasting effects on research. It can severely impact clinical trialists ability to conduct safe and ethically uncompromised trials. Hence, the mounting pressure results in ethically and morally distressing decisions faced by clinical trial professionals during pandemic situations. Whilst clinical trialists attempt to think about preparedness and responses during a pandemic, the need to have an ethical framework that has real-world applicability is imperative. Pandemics are a challenging time for all, however, the safety and access to support for clinical trialists and patients within clinical trials should be at the forefront for their organisations and the government.
Core Tip: This commentary provides an important facet and argues the ethical implications surrounding clinical research practices and staff during pandemic situations. Clinical trial professionals face ethical dilemmas whilst conducting trials safely at an unprecedented rate given the clinical urgency. This commentary highlights the detrimental impact of not having a protocol for pandemic-driven clinical research, as well the lack of an ethical framework with real-world applicability to support the clinical trial workforce. Unethical behaviours and practices could be introduced in the current pressurised climate in order to rapidly respond to coronavirus disease 2019 research in particular.