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Consumer involvement in clinical research is an essential component of a comprehensive response during emergent health challenges. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the moderation of research policies and regulation to facilitate research may raise ethical issues. Meaningful, diverse consumer involvement can help to identify practical approaches to prioritize, design, and conduct rapidly developed clinical research amid current events. Consumer involvement might also elucidate the acceptability of flexible ethics review approaches that aim to protect participants whilst being sensitive to the challenging context in which research is taking place. This article describes the main ethical challenges arising from pandemic research and how involving consumers and the community could enable resolution of such issues.

Original publication





Journal of bioethical inquiry

Publication Date





743 - 748


Australian Clinical Trials Alliance, Suite 1, Level 2, 24 Albert Road, Melbourne, VIC, 3205, Australia.


Humans, Ethics, Research, Pandemics, Community Participation, COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2