Ethical Issues in Public Health Crises
Infectious disease epidemics, natural disasters and terrorist attacks can overwhelm existing public health and healthcare systems. These crises raise a complicated array of ethical issues, from rationing scarce resources to protecting vulnerable community members to providing appropriate supports to health professionals. As part of a national effort, health departments and health care organizations are tasked with developing plans to enable them to respond appropriately to these types of crises. A critical part of that planning effort is the development of guidance for managing the ethical challenges that arise in these emergencies. This presentation provides background on public health crisis planning, describes the need for ethics guidance, discusses the fundamental ethical values that should guide crisis planning and response; and identifies some ways to implement ethical guidance in the challenging context of mass casualty incidents.
Speaker: Debra DeBruin, PhD