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.

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Correspondence to Peter F. Omonzejele.

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Omonzejele, P.F. Ethical Challenges Posed by the Ebola Virus Epidemic in West Africa. Bioethical Inquiry 11, 417–420 (2014).

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  • Ebola virus disease
  • Epidemic
  • West Africa
  • Traditional rituals
  • Zmapp