David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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BMC Medical Ethics 7 (1):1-11 (2006)
Background Planning for the next pandemic influenza outbreak is underway in hospitals across the world. The global SARS experience has taught us that ethical frameworks to guide decision-making may help to reduce collateral damage and increase trust and solidarity within and between health care organisations. Good pandemic planning requires reflection on values because science alone cannot tell us how to prepare for a public health crisis. Discussion In this paper, we present an ethical framework for pandemic influenza planning. The ethical framework was developed with expertise from clinical, organisational and public health ethics and validated through a stakeholder engagement process. The ethical framework includes both substantive and procedural elements for ethical pandemic influenza planning. The incorporation of ethics into pandemic planning can be helped by senior hospital administrators sponsoring its use, by having stakeholders vet the framework, and by designing or identifying decision review processes. We discuss the merits and limits of an applied ethical framework for hospital decision-making, as well as the robustness of the framework. Summary The need for reflection on the ethical issues raised by the spectre of a pandemic influenza outbreak is great. Our efforts to address the normative aspects of pandemic planning in hospitals have generated interest from other hospitals and from the governmental sector. The framework will require re-evaluation and refinement and we hope that this paper will generate feedback on how to make it even more robust.
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Lisa M. Lee (2012). Public Health Ethics Theory: Review and Path to Convergence. Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 40 (1):85-98.
Robert B. Shabanowitz & Judith E. Reardon (2009). Avian Flu Pandemic – Flight of the Healthcare Worker? HEC Forum 21 (4):365-385.
Maude Laliberté, Matthew Hunt, Bryn Williams-Jones & Debbie Ehrmann Feldman (2013). Health Care Professionals and Bedbugs: An Ethical Analysis of a Resurgent Scourge. [REVIEW] HEC Forum 25 (3):245-255.
A. M. Viens (2008). Public Health, Ethical Behavior and Reciprocity. American Journal of Bioethics 8 (5):1 – 3.
Ross Upshur (2013). What Does Public Health Ethics Tell (Or Not Tell) Us About Intervening in Non-Communicable Diseases? Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 10 (1):19-28.
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