Public Health Emergency Ethics

The Ethics in Public Health Emergency Preparedness Project is a collaboration of the Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics and PHLPP. The primary objective of the project is to create through consensus a model code of public health emergency ethics for health care, public health, and emergency preparedness officials and practitioners in Arizona. 
 
This effort commenced with a one-day meeting and workshop that was held on November 4, 2011. The meeting included individuals of varied backgrounds including: bioethicists, public health ethicists, emergency planners, hospital administrators, public health officials, legal counsel, and others. This select group convened to consider multifarious ethical issues at the intersection of public health and emergency preparedness. To access the presentations from the meeting, the briefing book, and the current draft of the Arizona Code of Public Health Emergency Ethics derived from this session, please click here

The goal of the project is to generate a series of core principles of ethics to help guide critical decisions among public and private actors during public health emergencies. Development of an Arizona-based model Code of Public Health Emergency Ethics may help provide consistent, morally-justifiable guidance for these difficult decisions. 
 
While many states such as Delaware, Maryland, Michigan, New York, and Texas have engaged in similar efforts, neither public nor private sector entities in Arizona and other states have previously aligned to proffer widely-accepted principles to guide ethical issues arising in public health emergencies. Depending on the success of the initial workshop and development of core principles of public health emergency ethics in Arizona, this model may be used in a subsequent stage of the project to frame a national approach for public and private entities to use in future emergency events.