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Research News

Paper by Mupenda and Ravez entitled 'Pauvreté et santé comme indices de vulnérabilité dans les pays en développement: pour une éthique de la libération' has been published in Ethica Clinica 62: 37-43 (2011). It is available here.

Paper by Mupenda, Behets and Rennie entitled 'Conducting Unlinked Anonymous HIV Surveillance in developing countries: ethical, epidemiological, and public health concerns' in PLoS Medicine 6(1): e1000004. It is available here.

Paper by Mupenda and Rennie entitled 'Living apart together: reflections on bioethics, global inequality and social justice has been published in Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine (Dec 2008). It is available here.

Paper by Mupenda and Rennie entitled 'The ethics of premarital HIV testing in Africa: the case of Goma, DR Congo' has been published by Developing World Bioethics (June 2007). It is available here.

Paper by Rennie, Westreich and Muula has been accepted by the Journal for Medical Ethics. Online version available here.


Research spotlight

There is a journal that should be of great interest to bioethicists working in the field, particularly in international health research: the Journal for Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics (JERHRE). The stated aim of the journal is to improve ethical problem- solving by encouraging empirical (social science) research on ethical issues as they emerge in research involving human participants, and enhancing collaboration and communication between stakeholders in the enterprise of the ethical conduct of research. A member of our project, Dr. Botbol-Baum, is currently a consulting editor of JERHRE.

Researchers connected to our bioethics project and/or active in global health research at UNC-Chapel Hill (Amy Corneli, Gail Henderson, Margaret Bentley) have published an article in JERHRE entitled Using Formative Research to Develop A Context-Specific Approach to Informed Consent for Clinical Trials. It is an excellent example of how social science research can contribute positively to the ethical conduct of international health research.

For more on this study, visit the webpage here.


Current interests and activities of project members


Frieda Behets, Professor of Epidemiology at UNC-Chapel Hill's School of Public Health, focuses on ethical issues arising from her operational research of HIV/AIDS, STIs and sexually transmitted diseases among pregnant women and sex workers in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Madagascar. Prof. Behets is co-author of an article (with Stuart Rennie) on the ethics of rationing antiretroviral treatment in low-income countries that appeared in the Hastings Center Report. She has also co-authored (with Stuart Rennie) a paper on the ethical issues surrounding routine HIV testing in resource-poor countries, accepted for publication by the Bulletin of the World Health Organization.

Laurent Ravez is Head of the Centre Interdisciplinaire Droit, Ethique et Sciences de la Sante (CIDES) at the Facultes Universitaires Notre Dame de la Paix in Namur, Belgium. Dr. Ravez specializes in clinical ethics, ethics of health care systems and medical ethics in developing countries. He has been member of numerous bioethics commissions and committees at a national level in Belgium, and is author of a book on the ethics of assisted reproduction entitled Les amours auscultees (2006). More recently, he has co-edited and contributed to a book on medical ethics and epistemology entitled La médecine, autrement! Pour une éthique de la subjectivité médicale (2011, University of Namur Press).


Stuart Rennie, Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Social Medicine and Faculty Associate at the Center for Bioethics at UNC-Chapel Hill, focuses on ethical issues in public health practice, medical research and clinical practice in low-resource settings. He is responsible for global health and medical ethics courses at the UNC School of Public Health, co-chair of the non-biomedical Institutional Review Board, head of the UNC Center for AIDS Research ethics working group, and co-Principal Investigator for a Fogarty bioethics capacity building project in Stellenbosch, South Africa. He has worked as an ethics consultation for Family Health International, and lead the writing of FHI's research ethics guidance document in 2009. Dr. Rennie recently published an article in the Hastings Center Report (2011) entitled Viewing research participation as a moral obligation: in whose interests?


Bavon Mupenda, Fogarty scholar, is currently working on a qualitative research project on HIV prevention among youth already infected by HIV in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. He will be working together in a team led by UNC researchers Frieda Behets, Audrey Pettifor and Sandra Duvall. Data from the research will form the basis of his PhD at the Kinshasa School of Public Health. He has also worked on a research paper (together with Stuart Rennie) on premarital HIV testing in Africa, especially the region of Goma in the eastern DR Congo, as well as more reflective pieces on bioethics and global justice. Bavon is co-author of a recent article in PLoS Medicine, entitled 'The Structure and Function of Research Ethics Committees in Africa: A Case Study' (January 2007), available here.


Felicien Munday is former Fogarty scholar aligned with the bioethics unit within the Department of Humanities and Letters at the University of Kinshasa, where he is acting program manager. He obtained his PhD in philosophy at University of Kinshasa on HIV prevention, risk behavior and ethics. A paper by Felicien on bioethics and African philosophy (in French) is available here.

Mylene Botbol-Baum, Professor of philosophy at the University of Louvain's Center for Bioethics, has published extensively over a broad range of bioethical themes. References to her past research can be found on Prof. Botbol-Baum's scientific page, where some articles are available as (copyrighted) pdf files. Prof. Botbol-Baum's current research focuses on issues of gender, technology and biomedical research in the developing world. Her new book, co-authored with Nathan Clumeck and Jean-Godefroy Bidima, is entitled Quelle bioéthique pour les pays du sud? (Which bioethics for the countries of the south?) and has been published by Editions L'Harmattan. A paper on women's narratives will be published by UNESCO. A recent article by Prof. Botbol-Baum, published in the African Journal of Medicine, entitled 'Sen and Nussbaum's capability approach and the transfer of biotechnology in Africa: conditions of transitive justice' is available (in Word format) here.






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