Monash Bioethics Review 38 (Suppl 1):1-16 (2020)

Michael Selgelid
Monash University
Interactions between microbes and human hosts can lead to a wide variety of possible outcomes including benefits to the host, asymptomatic infection, disease, and/or death. Whether or not they themselves eventually develop disease, asymptomatic carriers can often transmit disease-causing pathogens to others. This phenomenon has a range of ethical implications for clinical medicine, public health, and infectious disease research. The implications of asymptomatic infection are especially significant in situations where, and/or to the extent that, the microbe in question is transmissible, potentially harmful, and/or untreatable. This article reviews the history and concept of asymptomatic infection, and relevant ethical issues associated with this phenomenon. It illustrates the role and ethical significance of asymptomatic infection in outbreaks, epidemics, and pandemics–including recent crises involving drug resistance, Zika, and Covid19. Serving as the Introduction to this Special Issue of Monash Bioethics Review, it also provides brief summaries of the other articles comprising this collection.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s40592-020-00123-z
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 63,393
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Obligatory Precautions Against Infection.Marcel Verweij - 2005 - Bioethics 19 (4):323–335.

View all 11 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Diagnosis, Narrative Identity, and Asymptomatic Disease.Mary Jean Walker & Wendy A. Rogers - 2017 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 38 (4):307-321.
AIDS Symposium: Psychosocial Ethical Aspects of AIDS.Michael W. Ross - 1989 - Journal of Medical Ethics 15 (2):74.
Robert Koch and the Invention of the Carrier State: Tropical Medicine, Veterinary Infections and Epidemiology Around 1900.Christoph Gradmann - 2010 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 41 (3):232-240.
How to Hold an Ethical Pox Party.Euzebiusz Jamrozik - 2017 - Journal of Medical Ethics:medethics-2017-104336.


Added to PP index

Total views
6 ( #1,102,612 of 2,448,954 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #223,322 of 2,448,954 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes