Éthique et catastrophe : l'aide médicale et la recherche en contextes humanitaires


Matthew Hunt

Centre de recherche interdisciplinaire en réadaptation du Montréal métropolitain [CRIR]


Domaine : santé des populations

Programme chercheurs-boursiers - Junior 2

Concours 2017-2018

Globally, humanitarian crises such as natural disasters, wars and epidemics, have widespread and massive impacts on human health. Relief and reconstruction efforts aiming to address heath and other needs during crises, as well as the conduct of research in these settings, give rise to a range of ethical questions. My research investigates what is ethically at stake in humanitarian medical aid and research, explores moral experiences of patients, practitioners, and others, and contributes to ethical guidance to improve humanitarian practice and policy. This research program has three components:

A study examining ethically and culturally appropriate palliative care in humanitarian crises and the possibilities of aid when ‘there's nothing left to offer'. We will examine aid agency policies and undertake 3 in-depth case studies to understand values, norms and experiences of palliative care needs in humanitarian crises.

An investigation of the moral experiences of recipients and providers of care in contexts of enforced migration (e.g. refugee crisis) or confinement (e.g. quarantine during epidemics) that challenge expected standards of practice and ethical norms such as privacy, consent, access to and continuity of care. We will conduct parallel inquiries into health ethics with displaced and confined populations which will include in-depth qualitative interviews and participatory, photo-voice methods.

An inquiry into the ethics of research and innovation in humanitarian crises. Research and innovation can lead to improvements in humanitarian responses, yet are challenging due to heightened vulnerability of the population, limited time for ethics review of research, overlap between research and practice, political and social instability, and insecurity.  I am currently completing a study of disaster research ethics and will develop a new project to assess the ethical implications of emergent humanitarian technologies.