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Caring for the suffering: meeting the Ebola crisis responsibly.

Publication ,  Journal Article
Rosoff, PM
Published in: Am J Bioeth
2015

The current Ebola virus epidemic in Western Africa appears to be spiraling out of control. The worst-case projections suggested that the unchecked spread could result in almost 1.4 million cases by the end of January 2015 with a case fatality rate of at least 50%. The United States and European nations have begun to respond in earnest with promises of supplies, isolation beds, and trained health care personnel in an effort to contain the epidemic and care for the sick. However, there is neither a vaccine nor specific treatment for Ebola infection, and therapy is ideally centered on supportive care. I have previously argued that the provision of palliative care is obligatory during an overwhelming health catastrophe, notably pandemic influenza. Since affected Ebola patients have best outcomes with technologically advanced intensive care--resources in scarce supply in the area--I suggest that the only acceptable approach to large numbers of very sick, dying, and suffering Ebola patients who overwhelm the resources available to successfully manage them is effective palliative care. However, this could hasten death in this vulnerable population and hence, while ethically and medically justifiable, is not without social risk.

Duke Scholars

Published In

Am J Bioeth

DOI

EISSN

1536-0075

Publication Date

2015

Volume

15

Issue

4

Start / End Page

26 / 32

Location

United States

Related Subject Headings

  • Viremia
  • United States
  • Trust
  • Palliative Care
  • Multiple Organ Failure
  • International Cooperation
  • Humans
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola
  • Developed Countries
  • Applied Ethics
 

Citation

APA
Chicago
ICMJE
MLA
NLM
Rosoff, P. M. (2015). Caring for the suffering: meeting the Ebola crisis responsibly. Am J Bioeth, 15(4), 26–32. https://doi.org/10.1080/15265161.2015.1010995
Rosoff, Philip M. “Caring for the suffering: meeting the Ebola crisis responsibly.Am J Bioeth 15, no. 4 (2015): 26–32. https://doi.org/10.1080/15265161.2015.1010995.
Rosoff PM. Caring for the suffering: meeting the Ebola crisis responsibly. Am J Bioeth. 2015;15(4):26–32.
Rosoff, Philip M. “Caring for the suffering: meeting the Ebola crisis responsibly.Am J Bioeth, vol. 15, no. 4, 2015, pp. 26–32. Pubmed, doi:10.1080/15265161.2015.1010995.
Rosoff PM. Caring for the suffering: meeting the Ebola crisis responsibly. Am J Bioeth. 2015;15(4):26–32.

Published In

Am J Bioeth

DOI

EISSN

1536-0075

Publication Date

2015

Volume

15

Issue

4

Start / End Page

26 / 32

Location

United States

Related Subject Headings

  • Viremia
  • United States
  • Trust
  • Palliative Care
  • Multiple Organ Failure
  • International Cooperation
  • Humans
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola
  • Developed Countries
  • Applied Ethics