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Zhang H, Shao F, Gu J, Li L, Wang Y. Ethics Committee Reviews of Applications for Research Studies at 1 Hospital in China During the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Epidemic. JAMA. 2020;323(18):1844–1846. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.4362
Since December 2019, an epidemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has spread rapidly from Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.1 As of March 7, there were 1272 confirmed coronavirus cases in Henan Province (the third-highest in China), which adjoins Hubei Province. Due to the high contagiousness of COVID-19 and the current lack of any effective vaccine or drug, scientists and physicians are conducting a series of clinical studies involving affected patients. In 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) published “Guidance for Managing Ethical Issues in Infectious Disease”2 to ensure the scientific validity of and participants’ rights and safety in studies conducted during outbreaks. The guidance stated that there is a moral obligation to conduct timely scientific research. The Ethics Committee of the Henan Provincial People’s Hospital reviewed the COVID-19 studies from the hospital based on those guidelines.
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