Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Pandemic Ethics Summit


# 2146





A severe pandemic would place enormous demands on our finite health care resources.   With not enough to go around, difficult choices will have to be made. 


Who gets a scarce vaccine?  What about ventilators?  Or hospital beds?    What are the ethical obligations of Health Care Workers?  What about their Employers?  


IUPUI (Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis) held a two-day ethics summit this week to discuss these, and other ethical questions that will surely come up in a pandemic.


This story from the   And a hat tip to Kobie on the Wiki for posting it.


Follow the link for the whole article.








Deciding who gets the vaccine first

IUPUI hosts summit on ethical issues of pandemic diseases


By Shari Rudavsky


Posted: July 16, 2008


A disease pandemic doesn't have to exist to have a discussion about ethical dilemmas that could come with it, including:


How should limited, potentially life-saving resources like vaccines or ventilators be allocated? Do those who are sickest or those who are hardiest have first dibs when such resources are limited?


What recourses do employees have if they want to stay home on the advice of the local health department but against employers' wishes?


How should hospitals handle employees who refuse to come to work?


These and myriad other questions were on the agenda this week at the first-ever summit on ethical questions a pandemic might pose.


Held on the campus of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, it brought together public health officials from 35 states and territories.


It "was to be a summit of the United States who could speak to and with each other about the common challenges they face and in particular the common ethical challenges," said Eric Meslin, director of the Indiana University Center for Bioethics, which co-hosted the event.


For many participants, the two-day conference, which concluded Tuesday, offered an opportunity to share what works best and grapple with thorny issues with others in the field.


(Continue reading . . . )