COVID-19 and Mental Health (CMH) Initiative: Research

A Scoping Review of Ethical Considerations When Responding to the Needs of People Who Use Drugs During Public Health Emergencies

Key Messages

There is little published guidance (normative or descriptive) in the academic and grey literature to support ethical analysis and decision-making about the needs of people who use drugs in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic or similar previous pandemic public health emergencies. Future research needs to be conducted which centre the experiences of diverse communities of people who use drugs.

Lay Summary

Overall, few academic and grey resources explicitly discussed ethical issues related to the needs of people who use drugs during the COVID-19 pandemic and the other similar public health emergencies (zero resources met our inclusion criteria). Some emerging guidance (three resources met out inclusions criteria) points to stigma and access as key ethical issues and considerations related to professional ethics.

Keywords

  • Ethics
  • Research ethics
  • Clinical ethics
  • Public health ethics
  • People who use drugs
  • Scoping review

Author(s)

  • Nominated Principal Applicant: Adrian Guta, School of Social Work, University of Windsor
  • Carol Strike (Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto)
  • Marilou Gagnon (School of Nursing, University of Victoria)
  • Katherine Rudzinski (Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto)
  • Melissa Perri (Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto)

For more information, please contact: Adrian Guta, aguta@uwindsor.ca

Related Syntheses

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Population

People Who Use Drugs (PWUD) and Substance Use

Language

To ensure the rapid dissemination of this critical information, information is published in the language in which it was submitted. Please contact us for French or English translations.

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