Prepare public for bird flu, experts urge governments

Joint Centre for Bioethics, Toronto

27 Nov 2005

Ethicists offer guide to decision-making in predicted flu pandemic; quarantine, duty to care, resource allocations among key issues

Coping effectively with a predicted influenza pandemic that threatens to affect the health of millions worldwide, hobble economies and overwhelm health care systems will require more than new drugs and good infection control.

An international medical ethics think-tank says that all-important public cooperation and the coordination of public officials at all levels requires open and ethical decision making.

The Influenza Pandemic Working Group at the University of Toronto Joint Centre for Bioethics today recommended a 15-point ethical guide for pandemic planning, based in part on experiences and study of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) crisis of 2003.

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