MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay — The COVID-19 pandemic has arrived in Latin America and the Caribbean and with it the certain possibility that various types of related biomedical research will be carried out on vulnerable populations in the region.
In this regard, UNESCO’s Network of National Bioethics Committees and Commissions of Latin America and the Caribbean, whose mission is to advise on ethical issues relating to the life sciences and human health in an integral sense and to ensure the defence of the integrity, dignity and human rights of the inhabitants of the region, has produced the document “Ante las investigaciones biomédicas por la pandemia de enfermedad infecciosa por coronavirus COVID-19”.
In this document, the CNBS ALAC Network recognizes that it is an ethical duty to carry out research during an epidemiological outbreak and draws attention to a series of points that must be taken into account, especially in pandemic situations. Among them, it urges the Ethics Committees and the health authority to apply the most rigorous standards to authorize research in accordance with the principles of justice, equity, and solidarity.
The Declaration ends by calling on society as a whole, health authorities, government agencies, and academic institutions in the region to subjugate and subject their actions and research to international human rights law, the recommendations of WHO and the universal bioethical declarations of UNESCO.
Declaration on the Ethics of Biomedical Research in COVID-19 (Spanish): declaracion_red_alac_cnbs_investigaciones_covid_19