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The pace of a medical crisis (not only a pandemic like coronavirus, but a more focal but lethal outbreak like Ebola) leaves little time for consideration of ethical issues that underpin our health care system. For example, how and by whom are decisions made on the use of experimental agents or the off label usage of approved products, when neither safety or efficacy are fully understood? Is “trying something” always better than “doing nothing?” This session covers issues faced during life-threatening medical emergencies including the need for clinical trials, the kinds of trials, how to control hype and intentionally misleading statements, informed consent, the role of IRBs, the collection and reporting of data during and after the crisis, among other topics. Watch the video above to hear the perspective from both the US health care system as well as from an international view, given the diversity of health care systems around the world.


  • Kenneth Moch, Advisor, Cognition Therapeutics and Chimerix
  • Paul Aliu, MBA, PharmD, Global Head Medical Governance, Chief Medical Office, Novartis Pharma AG
  • Alison Bateman-House, MPH, PhD, Assistant Professor, Division of Medical Ethics, NYU School of Medicine
  • Arthur L. Caplan, PhD, Professor and Head, Division of Medical Ethics, NYU School of Medicine
  • J. Joseph Kim, PhD, President, Chief Executive Officer, Director, Inovio Pharmaceuticals
  • Joanne Waldstreicher, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Johnson & Johnson