In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic made visible to the general public some of the many challenges associated with humanitarian work. Suddenly mortality rates, shortages of medical supplies and the...
Should we discriminate in order to act? Profiling: a necessary but debated practice
In October 2020, MSF organised a workshop in Dakar on staff profiling in operations in the Sahel. Profiling involves the selection of staff based on non-professional criteria, including nationality,...
Tough choices: moral challenges experienced by aid workers during the Covid-19 pandemic
Françoise Duroch, Miriam Kasztura23.07.2020
The truly unprecedented nature of the pandemic has mobilised and confused humanitarian NGOs and their staff as much. Forced inaction mixed with setting up programmes within a context of high...
A humanitarian approach to travel medicine?
28 June 2019: UREPH is pleased to announce the publication of this article by Marta Balinska.
Humanitarian ethics in Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders: Discussing dilemmas and mitigating moral distress
As a humanitarian medical organization, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) intervenes in places around the world affected by conflict and crisis. Although we are guided by humanitarian principles, our...
Response to 'On Complicity and Compromise' by Chiara Lepora and Robert Goodin
Chiara Lepora and Robert Goodin invite us to join their insightful ‘conversation’ on complicity and compromise. Their book makes a dense, utterly precise and rewarding reading, as one proceeds...
Dilemmas in access to medicines: a humanitarian perspective
We challenge the assertion made by Govind Persad and Ezekiel Emanuel (Aug 27, p 932) that “expanding access to less effective or more toxic [antiretroviral] treatments rather than requiring the...
When free is not fair: the case of vaccine donations
On Oct 10, 2015, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) rejected Pfizer’s proposed donation of 1 million doses of its branded pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV). The news caused a stir in the...
Palliative care in humanitarian medicine
Palliative care interventions have historically been neglected in the practice of humanitarian medicine. This may come as a surprise, since it is a sombre reality that medical...
Palliative Care in Humanitarian Crises
Medical humanitarian organizations don’t generally deal well with death. This may come as a surprise, since it’s a sombre reality of this line of work that frontline staff are often witness to...
The Ebola clinical trials: a precedent for research ethics in disasters
The West African Ebola epidemic has set in motion a collective endeavour to conduct accelerated clinical trials, testing unproven but potentially lifesaving interventions in the course of a major...
Reaching out to Ebola victims: Coercion, persuasion or an appeal for self-sacrifice?
Marc Poncin, Philippe Calain2015
The 2014–2015 Ebola crisis in West Africa has highlighted the practical limits of upholding human rights and common ethical principles when applying emergency public-health measures. The role...