Although the timing and severity of the next influenza pandemic is impossible to predict, there is broad agreement that one will occur. Preparation is vital to mitigating its effects. A severe influenza pandemic like that which began in 1918 would be unlike other disasters in nature, scale, and duration. It could cripple normal business operations and disrupt global distribution of essential goods and services. It could force ethical decisions that many in a country accustomed to relative abundance are poorly prepared to make. Although sound evidence and clinical and public health expertise are needed to make informed decisions, so is an understanding of our common and diverse values. This article outlines some of the challenges the state would face during a pandemic, especially concerning the rationing of resources and care. It also describes a process currently underway to develop guidelines for how the state should approach the ethical questions that would arise.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||3|
|State||Published - Apr 2008|