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Supporting ethical research and clinical practice


Ethics in Clinical Practice


This site provides an ethics toolkit for practitioners and trainees who conduct or support clinical practice in complex, cross-cultural or fragile settings.

This clinical toolkit emerged from the development of a toolkit for ethical research practice following a series of discussions with more than 400 global researchers and practitioners from more than 40 countries designed to inform and support ethical decision making and action. Many practitioners in this group felt that a toolkit designed for clinical practice would also be helpful.

What was clear from these discussions was that clinical practice can be:
  • often defined by complex, intractable challenges

  • increasingly undertaken in settings with emerging and/or limited clinical infrastructure and in the context of broader resource limitations (for both individuals and institutions)

  • delivered by multi-team, cross-cultural and cross-sector partnerships involving many service providers

  • occurring in the context of high humanitarian need and socio-political instability which may influence local priorities, policies and practices

In sum, context and potential impact are dual drivers for paying particular attention to upholding the highest possible standards of ethical conduct and preventing poor clinical practice.

This toolkit promotes a values-driven, solution-focused and iterative approach to ethics. It seeks to illuminate and address existing and emerging issues in a rapidly changing landscape of expectations about ethical clinical conduct.

A work in progress: Be part of the conversation

Please Contact Us

We are aware that this toolkit is a work in progress and needs to be under continuous review. If you have suggestions, please contact us. Your suggestions will be welcome.

We hope this toolkit will encourage further conversation as we all strive to undertake impactful clinical practice and research with our communities.

Contact Authors

Dr. Clara Calia, Professor Liz Grant & Professor Corinne Reid, University of Edinburgh, UK

Dr. Cristóbal Guerra, Universidad Santo Tomás, Chile


If you would like to cite this toolkit, please use the following citation:
Reid, C., Calia, C., Guerra, C. & Grant, L. (2019). Ethical Action in Global Research and Clinical Practice: A Toolkit. The University of Edinburgh. Available at: