Pandemic preparedness beyond influenza: The ethics of addressing other infectious disease pandemics
In this paper we argue that at least two important moral differences exist between planning for influenza pandemics (as currently conceived) and planning for pandemics of other infectious diseases. First, planning for influenza pandemics has traditionally conflated the concept of pandemic' with emergency' such that most plans almost exclusively deal in considerations that arise as a result of an acute surge of health resource utilization. As a consequence, absent from traditional pandemic planning are ethical considerations surrounding the possibility of a protracted and more incremental impact on the health system, in addition to the absence of moral arguments for the prevention of pandemics and the recovery of persons and society from pandemics, should they occur. This oversight, in turn, leads to a second important moral difference from traditional influenza pandemic planning, namely, that the moral questions surrounding infectious disease pandemics encompass more than merely preparing for the effects of a pandemic on a health system's resources during a pandemic response phase.
Learning Areas:Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Ethics, professional and legal requirements
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related public policy
Describe some of the morally salient differences between preparing for an influenza pandemic and a pandemic of another infectious disease.
Keyword(s): Bioethics, Infectious Diseases
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: This is my primary area of research for my PhD dissertation.
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.