Ethical Challenges Posed by the Ebola Virus Epidemic in West Africa
This paper examines how people in West Africa are reacting to the Ebola virus disease, an epidemic presently prevalent in the region. Certain lifestyle changes are suggested. Additionally, the heart of the paper focuses on the request by governments to be allowed access to experimental drugs, such as Zmapp and TKM-Ebola, for their infected populations. The author argues that granting such a request would circumvent research ethics procedures, which could potentially constitute significant risk to users of the drugs. The Pfizer Kano meningitis trial of 1996 is cited as an example to buttress how unapproved drugs could prove fatal.
KeywordsEbola virus disease Epidemic West Africa Traditional rituals Zmapp
- Jaslow, R. 2013. 95 percent of people wash their hands improperly: Are you one of them? CBS News, June 12. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/95-percent-of-people-wash-their-hands-improperly-are-you-one-of-them/. Accessed September 8, 2014.
- Johnson, L. 2014. How to protect yourself from the Ebola virus. Charisma News, August 8. http://www.charismanews.com. Accessed August 5, 2014.
- Ogundipe, S., C. Obinna, V. Ojeme, L. Mikairu, G. Ewepu, and G. Olawale. 2014. Ebola latest: US rejects Nigeria’s request for trial drug. Vanguard, August 8. http://www.vanguardngr.com/2014/08/ebola-latest-us-rejects-nigerias-request-trial-drug/. Accessed August 8, 2014.
- Omonzejele, P.F. 2008. African women as clinical research subjects: Unaddressed issue in global bioethics. Studies in Ethno-Medicine 2(2): 121–126.Google Scholar
- Omonzejele, P.F. 2012. The ethics of medical research in Africa. Saarbrucken: LAP Lambert Academic Publishing.Google Scholar
- Stephens, J. 2000. The body hunters: As drug testing spreads, profits and lives hang in the balance. The Washington Post, December 17, A1.Google Scholar
- WebMD. 2014. Ebola virus infection. http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/ebola-fever-virus-infection. Accessed September 6, 2014.