Category Archives: Ethics

Ethics and research in humanitarian settings

M. Bouchon

C. Laval

Magali Bouchon et Christian Laval • Médecins du Monde – France

Looking back on the seventh Scientific Day organised by Doctors of the World – France, the two authors discuss the ethical issues involved in research carried out in humanitarian contexts. From Niger to Nigeria to France, they point out the need to take better account of the views of the populations involved, explain the procedures and report the results. Continue reading

An analysis of ethical dilemmas in medical internships in countries with limited resources

M. Imbeault

É. Gélinas

O. Mallé Samb

Marc Imbeault Collège militaire royal de Saint-Jean (Québec)

Émilie Gélinas and Oumar Mallé Samb Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue

What are the cross-effects (advantages and disadvantages) of humanitarian missions in fragile contexts? New light is shone on this long-standing issue through the lens of medical internships in countries with limited resources, a common practice in Quebec. Thanks to a study conducted by the authors, we learn a little more about the ethical dilemmas that participants on such courses may experience. Lessons that could really be useful for traditional humanitarian missions. Continue reading

The ethics of care versus humanitarian exceptionalism

Arnaud Dandoy • Faculté de Droit et des Sciences économiques de l’université d’État d’Haïti

A. Dandoy

What if we say that humanitarian workers themselves arouse the hostility they sometimes face because of the symbolic and socially dominant relationships they maintain with their local personnel? This is the hypothesis, drawn from his own study, that Arnaud Dandoy, doctor of criminology, has developed here. While the author praises the virtues of the ethics of care over those of Kantian ethics, this is not a basic philosophical exercise, buta prerequisite for a better understanding of the widening gap between humanitarian workers and local populations.

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Challenges and dilemmas in the implementation
of ethical standards in humanitarian programmes

Gwenaëlle Luc-Menichelli • Socio-anthropologue, Action contre la Faim

G. Luc-Menichelli

In this new article devoted to ethics, Gweanëlle Luc-Menichelli ploughs the furrow of an approach to humanitarianism that is respectful as possible of the populations. Establishing the link with the previous contributions she strives to confront even more the rules of ethics with their implementation. Continue reading

Humanitarian ethics and international relations: Contradictions or (re)conciliations?

Virginie Troit • Fonds Croix-Rouge française


V. Troit

Continuing the theme developed by Jean-François Mattei and Pierre Le Coz in the last two issues of our review, Virginie Troit attempts here to clear the way for ethics in humanitarian action. In doing so, the author – general delegate to the French Red Cross Fund – considers both the context of international relations and the demands of humanitarian practices. Two constraints that, quite often, prevent NGOs from giving ethics the place that undoubtedly must be theirs.

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Ethical deliberation at the service of humanitarian action

Pierre Le Coz • Université Aix-Marseille (UMR 7268 ADES/EFS/CNRS)


P. Le Coz

From the morals of the action that presided over humanitarian impulse to the ethical deliberation that provides a framework for the moral dilemmas it increasingly gives rise to, there is but one step to be taken. Pierre Le Coz suggests that we adopt a methodical approach that could bridge the gap between one and the other. Based on philosophy and building on already advanced work in the medical field, the author proposes to raise the awareness of humanitarian actors to this rising concern –ethics. It is up to the humanitarians themselves to cover the rest of the way, by reducing it to their reality and their constraints. 

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