Communities' confidentiality should be maintained and community consent sought

BMJ 1996; 312 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.312.7022.54c (Published 06 January 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;312:54
  1. Fikre Enquselassie,
  2. James Nokes,
  3. Felicity Cutts
  1. Medical statistician Department of Community Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of Addis Ababa, PO Box 1176, Ethiopia
  2. Royal Society university research fellow Department of Biological Sciences, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL
  3. Senior lecturer Communicable Disease Epidemiology Unit, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London WC1E 7HT

    EDITOR,—Individual rights in the context of medical research receive much attention,1 and ethical principles of epidemiological studies reflect this emphasis.2 We believe that the rights of communities with respect to epidemiological investigations will need greater consideration in future for two reasons. Firstly, infectious diseases, such as HIV infection and AIDS, that are transmitted by certain risk behaviours elicit strong personal feelings, and stigmatisation may result if information is disclosed. Secondly, geographical information systems, which enable rapid and precise mapping of the distribution …

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