Ethics and Ebola: Public Health Planning and Response

The Ebola epidemic in western Africa has demonstrated that public health, and public health ethics, is global and not merely local. Recognizing that public health preparedness requires ethics preparedness, the Bioethics Commission sought to create recommendations that support policies and practices that enable a proactive response to public health epidemics.

In Ethics and Ebola the Bioethics Commission offers seven pointed recommendations related to engagement, infrastructure, communications, and integration; specifically, the Commission considers what lessons the U.S. response to the epidemic in western Africa has for ethics preparedness for future public health emergencies, and examines ethical dimensions of restrictive public health measures, the use of placebos for treatment and vaccine trials, and collecting and sharing biospecimens for future research. Ethics and Ebola is a Commission-directed project.