h1n1 (1) - Medical ethics experts identify address key...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Medical ethics experts identify, address key issues in H1N1 pandemic Published: Wednesday, September 23, 2009 - 13:29 in The anticipated onset of a second wave of the H1N1 influenza pandemic could present a host of thorny medical ethics issues best considered well in advance, according to the University of Toronto Joint Centre for Bioethics, which today released nine papers for public discussion. Topics include duty of health care workers to work during a serious flu pandemic; government restrictions on individual freedoms and privacy and their responsibilities administering vaccination programs; how to allocate limited medical resources; and the obligation of rich countries to share such resources with those less fortunate. "While we hope there will not be a major second wave of the H1N1 flu, there is limited cause for optimism and we could well see the pandemic's full onset late this year or early next when the traditional flu season begins," says JCB Director Ross Upshur. "Now is the time to think through the serious ethical challenges societies may confront, not in the midst of crisis with line-ups at hospital doors. These issues and concerns, though drawn largely from a Canadian point of view, have relevance to countries everywhere." JCB's Canadian Program of Research on Ethics in a Pandemic (CanPREP) prepared the papers with the benefit of both academic and public opinion research, obtaining the views of 500 Canadians through a national telephone survey and nearly 100 more via a series of town hall meetings nationwide. Dr. Upshur, who is also Director of the Pan American Health Organization / World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Bioethics, will host a symposium on the issues Weds. September 23, 88 College Street, Toronto, attended by health care providers, professional college representatives, community organizations and the public. Duty to care Competing obligations may explain why 25 to 85% of health care workers (HCWs) report being unwilling to work in a pandemic, according to the papers. Do HCWs have an obligation to treat patients despite risk of infection? What limits, if any, are there to health care workers' duty to care? What institutional supports are owed to health care workers in a pandemic? Important documents such as codes of ethics and professional directives are unclear on the question of acceptable risk for HCWs.
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
The JCB says 90% of those surveyed believe HCWs should report to work and face all risks provided safety precautions are provided. 85% believe governments should provide HCWs with free disability insurance and death benefits during a flu crisis and 84% think HCWs who feel unsafe at work have a right to file a grievance. The public, though, was somewhat conflicted on what to do with HCWs who do not
Background image of page 2
Image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 04/29/2010 for the course PHL 453 taught by Professor Gifford during the Spring '10 term at Michigan State University.

Page1 / 7

h1n1 (1) - Medical ethics experts identify address key...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 3. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online