199531 Role of Faith-Based Organizations in the Ethical Aspects of Pandemic Flu Planning

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 5:00 PM

Halley S. Faust, MD, MPH, MA , Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of New Mexico, Santa Fe, NM
CÚcile M. Bensimon, MA, PhD (cand) , Primary Care Research Unit, Dept. of Family and Community Medicine, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, ON, Canada
Ross Upshur, MA, MD, MSc , Joint Centre for Bioethics, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
This report discusses the concerns of spiritual leaders regarding restrictive measures and duties to care. The study is derived from the perceptions of individually interviewed spiritual leaders of the disease control measures used during the 2003 SARS outbreak in Toronto. Four central themes were identified: the relationship between religious obligation and civic responsibilities; the role of faith-based organizations in supporting public health restrictive measures; the reciprocal obligations of public health and religious communities during restrictions; and justifiable limits to duties to care. We conclude that, for the most part, spiritual leaders find restrictive measures ethically reasonable, spiritual leaders can play an important role during pandemic and epidemic control planning, and that public health officials should include them in planning exercises.

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify and evaluate the effect of SARS in Toronto on spiritual leaders of the community and their abilities to minister ethically to those affected by public health emergencies. 2. Discuss the implications of the actions and perceptions of spiritual leaders on preparing for public health emergencies.

Keywords: Bioethics, Religion

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was first author of the paper in Public Health Ethics, and analyzer of the data as well as major writer.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.