Eleventh Futures Forum on the ethical governance of pandemic influenza preparedness

Eleventh Futures Forum on the ethical governance of pandemic influenza preparedness

The application of ethical governance principles to public health

The 2007 Ethical Futures Forum was convened in order to promote a greater understanding of health policy development. The case of pandemic influenza is used to illustrate the application of the ethical governance approach. The authors note however, that the findings can be applied in relation to any public health issue.

Pandemic influenza is of concern to public health authorities as influenza viruses rapidly spread across populations. Therefore, a coordinated public health approach is needed to plan national and international responses to pandemic influenza. Knowledge of the principles of ethical governance is central to influenza pandemic preparedness as these will assist health professionals in the preparation for and management of the virus.

The findings of the forum are presented in a twenty eight page report that is structured in seven sections. The first section looks at the response of the health sector to pandemic influenza. This is followed by a discussion on the World Health Organisation’s approach to ethical considerations in addressing pandemic influenza. The third section focuses on the guiding principles for ethical decision making in planning to address the issues related to pandemic influenza. The national response to pandemic influenza is addressed in the next two sections of the report. The sixth chapter highlights the need for a participatory approach to tackling the pandemic. The report concludes with recommendations for action.

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