The COVID-19 pandemic has created more uncertainty in human research protections in 2021. One issue IRBs will face is whether the benefits continue to outweigh the risks for people who enroll in COVID-19 vaccine studies.
Of patients with left ventricular assist devices, about half end up deciding to withdraw them. Investigators noticed that when the patient was the one making the request, the entire decision-making process seemed to take longer.
Many patients may be surprised to find out the treatment they are taking is not any better than a placebo. Clinicians may think this is no big deal, as long as the person is feeling better and is grateful.
Hospitals are facing an immediate ethical challenge to restore the mental health and wellness of clinical staff. This varies greatly from hospital to hospital. Some have done a lot of work around this area, while others have not focused on it as much. Above all, hospitals need to maintain clear lines of communication with staff about the situation.