Ethical Challenges for Pandemic Influenza Preparedness
This project addresses several ethical issues related to pandemic influenza preparedness planning. In a pandemic emergency, medical and public health energies would likely be most focused upon preventing further spread of the disease and keeping people alive rather than responding to ethical quandaries that emerge in the pandemic’s wake. It is therefore critical to examine such quandaries and develop ethical guidelines before the pandemic occurs. Ethical issues considered in this project include quarantine, distribution and use of medical supplies, and the obligations and responsibilities of medical professionals and the government vis-à-vis patients and the public. This project also examines the position of socioeconomically disadvantaged populations who tend to suffer disproportionately in epidemic emergencies.