The ethics of deferred consent in times of pandemics

Nature Medicine
Volume 26 Issue 9, 1 September 2020


Comment | 10 July 2020
The ethics of deferred consent in times of pandemics
In the current COVID-19 pandemic, many researchers are applying to research ethics committees for deferred-consent procedures for protocols that aim either to test treatments or to obtain tissue or samples from research participants. However, the deferred-consent procedure has not been developed for pandemics. In this Comment, we interpret existing guidance documents and argue when and under which conditions deferred consent can be considered ethically acceptable in a pandemic.
Rieke van der Graaf, Marie-Astrid Hoogerwerf  & Martine C. de Vries