This paper proposes a systematic literature review on ethics and CoviD-19, aiming to understand the impact and the perception of the pandemic during the first wave (January-June 2020) and the consequences one year later. PubMed was systematically searched up May 2020 to identify studies that took into consideration various ethical issues that have been arising from the Covid-19 outbreak. The eligibility of the papers was determined by two authors, who screened the results mediated by a third author. In order to facilitate the screening, the titles were divided into five sub-thematic macro-areas, namely allocation, policy, specialist, clinical trials, and technology and, when possible, per geographical area. Specifically, a posteriori, we decided to focus on the papers referring to policies and technology, as they highlighted ethical issues that are not overused and worthy of particular attention. Thus, 38 studies out of 233 met our inclusion criteria and were fully analysed. Accordingly, this review touches on themes such as fairness, equity, transparency of information, the duty of care, racial disparities, the marginalisation of the poor, and privacy and ethical concerns. Overall, it was found that despite the increased awareness of interdisciplinarity and the essential reference to ethics, many scientific articles use it with little competence, considering it only a "humanitarian" enrichment. In fact, as we understand, reflecting a year after the outbreak of the pandemic, although Covid-19 is leading scientists to increasingly recognise the importance of ethical issues, there is still a lot of confusion that could be helped by establishing international guidelines to act as a moral compass in times of crisis.

The role of ethics in science: a systematic literature review from the first wave of COVID-19

Pagliara, Silvio;
2021-01-01

Abstract

This paper proposes a systematic literature review on ethics and CoviD-19, aiming to understand the impact and the perception of the pandemic during the first wave (January-June 2020) and the consequences one year later. PubMed was systematically searched up May 2020 to identify studies that took into consideration various ethical issues that have been arising from the Covid-19 outbreak. The eligibility of the papers was determined by two authors, who screened the results mediated by a third author. In order to facilitate the screening, the titles were divided into five sub-thematic macro-areas, namely allocation, policy, specialist, clinical trials, and technology and, when possible, per geographical area. Specifically, a posteriori, we decided to focus on the papers referring to policies and technology, as they highlighted ethical issues that are not overused and worthy of particular attention. Thus, 38 studies out of 233 met our inclusion criteria and were fully analysed. Accordingly, this review touches on themes such as fairness, equity, transparency of information, the duty of care, racial disparities, the marginalisation of the poor, and privacy and ethical concerns. Overall, it was found that despite the increased awareness of interdisciplinarity and the essential reference to ethics, many scientific articles use it with little competence, considering it only a "humanitarian" enrichment. In fact, as we understand, reflecting a year after the outbreak of the pandemic, although Covid-19 is leading scientists to increasingly recognise the importance of ethical issues, there is still a lot of confusion that could be helped by establishing international guidelines to act as a moral compass in times of crisis.
2021
Covid-19; Ethics; First wave; Public health; Systematic literature review
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11584/384964
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