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What is pandemic ethics?

A pandemic is pervasive in scope and touches virtually every human-made systems. In this dashboard, we focus on ethics in a government’s public health and medical responses to a pandemic.  Public health ethics addresses the relationship between the government and the population it serves. They are best summarized by the Public Health Code of Ethics of the American Public Health Association.

The purpose of the Dashboard

We provide information here to support policy makers at the city, county, and state levels; and hospitals caring for pandemic patients. We highlight guidance that emerged from broad consensus processes. Four were written in anticipation of an influenza pandemic. A fifth is the American Public Health Association’s Public Health Code of Ethics. Dashboard presents ethical issues in four stages of a pandemic: preparation, community, hospital, and aftermath. Under Resources we provide additional guidelines, articles, blogs, and more.

How to use the Dashboard

  1. Select a setting of epidemic response.
  2. Select an ethical issue in the setting.
  3. Scan the recommendations from the documents.
  4. Link to the source document for more detail and context.

Who developed the Dashboard?

The Pandemic Ethics Dashboard was developed by epidemiology professor and ethicist Jim Thomas, MPH, PhD, in the Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Dr. Thomas was the lead author of the first Public Health Code of Ethics and participated in the 2019 revision. He was a member of the ethics advisory group to the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention when they wrote their pandemic ethics guidance. He also contributed to several other state, national and international groups on ethics in pandemic influenza.

The Dashboard was developed with support from: