RCR Lecture Announcement: Nine Months Yet No Delivery in Sight—Doing Ethics on the Frontline of COVID 19

The Office of Research Integrity and Compliance is announcing an upcoming Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) lecture “Nine Months Yet No Delivery in Sight: Doing Ethics on the Frontline of COVID-19” presented by Thomas Cunningham, PhD, MA, MS, Bioethics Director of the Kaiser Permanente Southern California Bioethics Program. The lecture will be held on Monday, December 7, at 2:00 p.m. via Zoom. This lecture satisfies part two of the RCR training program for sponsored research project personnel.

Lecture Abstract: In early March 2020, [Dr. Cunningham] gave a presentation to a group of ethicists and physicians on a novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) emerging in China. It was concerning, as there were 127,863 confirmed cases and it seemed likely the virus would cause a global pandemic. Weeks later, one of the first known COVID-19 cases in Los Angeles was seen in [Dr. Cunningham’s] hospital. By late April, we were in disaster-response mode, including a 24/7 incident command center and drastic changes in clinical operations to minimize infection and preserve personal protective equipment (PPE). The rest, as they say is history.

In this talk, [Dr. Cunningham] will describe [his] experiences as a clinical ethicist responding to the first wave of COVID-19 surges in [his] community and the second, current, phase of navigating prolonged disruption in the healthcare environment. Along the way, [Dr. Cunningham] will focus on topics dear to medical ethics where [he] ha[s] personal experience: the ethics of care during surge; the messy business of developing and operationalizing ethically sufficient triage protocols; the effects of family clustering on surrogate decision making; compassionate approaches to hospital visitation during lockdown and subsequent phases of restricted liberties; and, anticipating the ethicists role in the future, with more rationing and less certainty on the horizon.

To register for this lecture, please submit your registration form. Note: registration is required to receive credit for attending the lecture. Future offerings will be added to the website and announced to the university research community.

For more information regarding the university’s RCR training policy, please review the Office of Research Integrity and Compliance website. If you have any additional questions regarding RCR training requirements, please contact the Office of Research Integrity and Compliance at oric@iit.edu.