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Medical ethics experts identify, address key issues in H1N1 pandemic
Date:9/23/2009

velers coming from affected areas? How might a collaborative focus on minimizing harms, avoiding stigmatization, and preventing unnecessary constraints on international travel and trade be fostered and maintained?

According to the JCB authors, "in the face of an H1N1 pandemic influenza and other threats to global public health, anything less than the mobilization of substantial enduring financial and other support will amount to an abdication of the shared responsibility for global health and of the fundamental values of equality, reciprocity, and justice."

Canadians not only recognize the lack of equality, reciprocity and justice at the global level, but regard them as ethical imperatives and support policies that take aim at changing current realities. For example, a majority of survey respondents (54%) gave priority to saving lives globally over saving lives of Canadians (36%) in response to an influenza pandemic.

A strong majority (70%) of those surveyed agreed that Canada should provide international assistance to poorer countries facing a pandemic, even if this means fewer resources for Canadians as a result. When asked how much assistance should be provided, most Canadians (92%) responded that aid should amount to at least 7% of total resources committed to pandemic preparedness, and many (43%) felt that that amount should be 10% or more.

Participants thought that Canada ought to assume a more prominent leadership role internationally and that the traditional distinction between public and private sector responsibilities needed to change in order to mount an effective global response to the pandemic.

Support ran high for increasing regulatory control over drug manufacturing capacity and profit-seeking, and for prioritizing equity in global distribution of drugs. Town Hall participants were less united on the extent to which domestic obligations and the recent global economic downturn should modulate Canada's duty
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Contact: terrycollins@rogers.com
terrycollins@rogers.com
416-538-8712
University of Toronto Joint Center for Bioethics
Source:Eurekalert

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