Influenza
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Influenza Pandemic: A Model for Development of Administrative Policies and Procedures to Guide Preparedness for Influenza Pandemic Actions in Catholic Hospitals in Pennsylvania . . Author: John Mary Mooka Kamweri, Graduate Student - Center for Healthcare Ethics, Duquesne University, PA. .

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Influenza

Influenza Pandemic: A Model for Development of Administrative Policies and Procedures to Guide Preparedness for Influenza Pandemic Actions in Catholic Hospitals in Pennsylvania.

Author: John Mary Mooka Kamweri, Graduate Student - Center for Healthcare Ethics, Duquesne University, PA.

ABSTRACT:

It is critical that Catholic hospitals in Pennsylvania develop provisional administrative policies and procedures to guide actions in the event of an influenza pandemic outbreak. Health officials are concerned that a highly pathogenic influenza A pandemic (H5N1) could occur when the H5N1 strain of bird flu manages to mutate and spread between humans (IPRP, 2005).

This could lead to ethical and legal questions about restrictive public health interventions that could disrupt personal liberties like individual autonomy, privacy, confidentiality, freedoms of association, and access to limited supplies.

The Pennsylvania’s Influenza Pandemic Response Plan (IPRP), has provisions for mandating the exercise of intrusive powers like culling, isolation and quarantine by public health care workers. Triage and suspension of treatment of non-influenza pandemic related illnesses could pose a challenge to the ethical ‘duty to care’ and diminish physician-patient trust relationship. Patient-load will overwhelm physicians and staff who will also be concerned with personal safety. The provisional administrative policies and procedures will seek to propose values to guide ethical decision-making in Catholic hospitals in the event of a pandemic influenza outbreak. The values to be considered in policy drafting include: the duty to care, social beneficence, individual liberties, and justice in distribution of scarce resources.

  • OBJECTIVES:

  • Identify ethical actions, in a clinical setting, essential for effective responses to a pandemic emergency.

  • Demonstrate a balance between individual liberties and protection of the public in developing policies for a pandemic response.

  • Describe the process of formulating policies and procedures from abstract ethical principles.

  • INFLUENZA PANDEMIC (H5N1) PERIOD AND INTERVENTION:1. Introduction

  • 2. Mixed-Interests Ethics Model (MIEM)Balancing Individual Interests and the Population’s interests.

  • 3. Development of Policy(Duty to care, Protection from Harm, Liberty interests, and Justice)

  • RECOMMENDATION:(Four Interdependent Policy Development Sub-Committees) Standards: necessity, proportionate, reasonable, and harm avoidance.

  • SOURCES:

  • Pennsylvania Department of Health. “PA Pandemic Flu Preparedness: Pennsylvania’s Influenza Pandemic Response Plan (IPRP).” Available at http://www.pandemicflu.state.pa.us/pandemicflu/cwp/view.asp?a+496&q=151651&pp=12

  • Gostin, Lawrence O. ed. “Pandemic Influenza: Public Health Preparedness for the Next Global Health Emergency.” 32 J.L. Med. & Ethics 565 (winter 2004).

  • Gostin, Lawrence O. ed. Public Health Law and Ethics: A Reader. Berkeley and Los Angeles, CA: University of California Press, 2002.

  • Toronto Joint Center for Bioethics. “Stand on Guard for Thee: Ethical considerations in preparedness planning for pandemic influenza”, A report of the Toronto Joint Center for Bioethics Pandemic Influenza Working Group (November 2005).

  • United States, Department of Health and Human Services. PandemicFlu.gov: General Information, 2007.

  • United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. “Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, 4thed.” Washington, DC: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (2005).

influenza


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