Ethics and Emerging Infectious Diseases Response
The rising number of emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) in recent years and the current global pandemic have not only brought to light the continued challenges in clinical care of patients during the emergence of new pathogens, but also challenges to human protection and distributive justice both nationally and on a global scale. Research and care of highly communicable and novel pathogens, particularly in biocontainment settings are fraught by ethical dilemmas, which often end up having to be resolved ad hoc during crisis, rather than through principled evaluation along an accepted framework.
CEID’s multidisciplinary faculty group and partners aim to develop practical and capacity-based approaches to applying ethical principles and guidelines to the challenges of emerging infectious outbreaks. Our hope is to advance the ethical frameworks that govern healthcare infrastructure, distributive justice, social and public policy.
Our Current Work In This Space:
Special Pathogens Healthcare and Research Ethics (SPHeRE) Working Group
This working group supports CEID’s mission of addressing essential ethical dilemmas that arise from infectious diseases containment scenarios, as they present competing clinical and research obligations. This multidisciplinary team includes faculty from the BU Center for Health Law, Ethics & Human Rights and our partners at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and Global Health Security Center (with the largest biocontainment and quarantine facility in the country), University of Texas Southwestern, and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Our team provides expertise in operating biocontainment care centers in resource-rich and resource-limited settings, participating in outbreak response, and evaluating legal and ethical aspects of public health policy. The team is working on a white paper that applies existing clinical, public health, and research frameworks to explore the ethical dimensions of biocontainment care. The white paper will also identify real-life ethical scenarios in biocontainment care to understand common challenges and solutions of biocontainment care and outbreak response.
Faculty & Collaborators
- Nahid Bhadelia, MD, MALD, Director, CEID
- Michael R. Ulrich, JD, MPH, Assistant Professor, BU Center for Health Law, Ethics and Human Rights, BU School of Public Health, BU School of Law
- Lauren Sauer, PhD, Associate Professor, UNMC College of Public Health; Director of the Special Pathogens Research Network with the National Emerging Special Pathogens Training and Education Center (NETEC), CEID Adjunct Faculty
- Preeti Mehrotra, MD, MPH; Hospital Epidemiologist and Senior Medical Director Infection Control, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center; Instructor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School. Adult and Pediatric Infectious Diseases
- Abigail E. Lowe, MA, Assistant Professor, Global Center for Health Security, College of Allied Health Professions, University of Nebraska Medical Center
- Christina Yen, MD, Associate Director of Antimicrobial Stewardship, Clements University Hospital; Assistant Professor, UT Southwestern
- Angel Desai, MD, MPH, Associate Hospital Epidemiologist, Assistant Professor, University of California, Davis
- Caitryn McCallum, MPH, Director of Research and Partnerships, CEID
Other Related Resources
Related CEID Faculty Publications
- Making Emergency Use of Experimental Vaccines Safer by Nahid Bhadelia, MD, MALD and Archana Assundi, MD
- American Medical Association: Journal of Ethics
- American Medical Association: Ethics guidance during a pandemic: An overview
- The Hastings Center: Ethical Framework for Health Care Institutions & Guidelines for Institutional Ethics Services Responding to the Coronavirus Pandemic
- University of North Carolina: Pandemics Ethics Dashboard
- University of North Carolina: Pandemics and Social Policy