Emergency Ethics: Public Health Preparedness and Response

Emergency Ethics: Public Health Preparedness and Response

Emergency Ethics: Public Health Preparedness and Response

Emergency Ethics: Public Health Preparedness and Response

Synopsis

Emergency Ethics brings together leading scholars in the fields of public health ethics and bioethics to discuss disaster or emergency ethics and ethical aspects of preparedness and response with specific application to public health policy and practice. The book fills a gap in the existing public health ethics literature by providing a comprehensive ethical conception of emergency preparedness as a distinctive form of civic "practice" brought about by the interrelationships and coordination of many groups, disciplines, and interests and drawing on numerous bodies of knowledge and expertise. It addresses particular aspects of preparedness and response plans, particular decisions that planners and communities have to make, decisions that require balancing many diverse and sometimes conflicting values and identifying and applying a framework of basic ethical principles for preparedness planning, emergency response, and post-disaster recovery. It also explores the relationship between emergency preparedness to other facets of public health practice. The book begins with a broad and synthetic overview of emergency ethics that addresses the central components and ethically significant issues arising in public health preparedness planning, disaster response, and recovery. Following that overview are five chapters that in a philosophically innovative and detailed way delve deeply into important and problematic issues in emergency planning and response, including the allocation of scarce resources, conducting ethical research in the context of public health emergencies, the obligations of public health professionals, communication and engagement with the public, and special moral obligations surrounding vulnerable populations.

Excerpt

Emergency Ethics: Public Health Preparedness and Response grew out of the work of the Ethics Subcommittee of the Advisory Committee to the Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In its examination of the field of all-hazard public health emergency preparedness and response, the Ethics Subcommittee discussed principles and aspects of decision-making in order to provide guidance for public health professionals at all levels engaged in public health emergency planning. To supplement and support the work of the Ethics Subcommittee, the CDC also commissioned five articles on specific topics from leading scholars in bioethics and public health ethics. These original papers, representing the views of the authors, comprise Chapters 2 through 6 of this volume, and we are most grateful to our colleagues Angus Dawson, Norman Daniels, Ruth Gaare Bernheim, Alex John London, and Madison Powers for their work. In addition, a comprehensive white paper, developed by Subcommittee members Bruce Jennings and John D. Arras entitled “Ethical Guidance for Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response: Highlighting Ethics and Values in a Vital Public Health Service,” is available on the CDC website. Chapter 1 of this book is based on the work of that guidance document.

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