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2.
Nat Hum Behav ; 6(2): 236-243, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1671566

ABSTRACT

Widespread misperceptions about COVID-19 and the novel coronavirus threaten to exacerbate the severity of the pandemic. We conducted preregistered survey experiments in the United States, Great Britain and Canada examining the effectiveness of fact-checks that seek to correct these false or unsupported beliefs. Across three countries with differing levels of political conflict over the pandemic response, we demonstrate that fact-checks reduce targeted misperceptions, especially among the groups who are most vulnerable to these claims, and have minimal spillover effects on the accuracy of related beliefs. However, these reductions in COVID-19 misperception beliefs do not persist over time in panel data even after repeated exposure. These results suggest that fact-checks can successfully change the COVID-19 beliefs of the people who would benefit from them most but that their effects are ephemeral.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Communication , Culture , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Social Perception/psychology , Attitude to Health , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/psychology , COVID-19/virology , Canada/epidemiology , Ethnopsychology , Female , Humans , Male , Psychology, Social/methods , Psychology, Social/statistics & numerical data , Public Health/ethics , Social Media , United Kingdom/epidemiology , United States/epidemiology
3.
PLoS One ; 17(1): e0261726, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1651026

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: We explored public perceptions about the COVID-19 pandemic to learn how those attitudes may affect compliance with health behaviors. METHODS: Participants were Central Pennsylvania adults from diverse backgrounds purposively sampled (based on race, gender, educational attainment, and healthcare worker status) who responded to a mixed methods survey, completed between March 25-31, 2020. Four open-ended questions were analyzed, including: "What worries you most about the COVID-19 pandemic?" We applied a pragmatic, inductive coding process to conduct a qualitative, descriptive content analysis of responses. RESULTS: Of the 5,948 respondents, 538 were sampled for this qualitative analysis. Participants were 58% female, 56% with ≥ bachelor's degree, and 50% from minority racial backgrounds. Qualitative descriptive analysis revealed four themes related to respondents' health and societal concerns: lack of faith in others; fears of illness or death; frustration at perceived slow societal response; and a desire for transparency in communicating local COVID-19 information. An "us-versus-them" subtext emerged; participants attributed non-compliance with COVID-19 behaviors to other groups, setting themselves apart from those Others. CONCLUSION: Our study uncovered Othering undertones in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, occurring between groups of like-minded individuals with behavioral differences in 'compliance' versus 'non-compliance' with public health recommendations. Addressing the 'us-versus-them' mentality may be important for boosting compliance with recommended health behaviors.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Fear/psychology , Patient Compliance/psychology , Prejudice/psychology , Public Health/ethics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Health Behavior , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pennsylvania/epidemiology , Qualitative Research , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Surveys and Questionnaires , Trust/psychology
4.
Ann Afr Med ; 20(3): 157-163, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1438796

ABSTRACT

Health is a human right anchored in values as a basic necessity of life. It promotes the well-being of persons, communities, economic prosperity, and national development. The coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caught the world unaware and unprepared. It presented a huge challenge to the health and economic systems of every country. Across the spectrum of human endeavor and liberty, several ethical questions have been raised with regard to its management, particularly the public health control measures. Decisions for pandemic control measures are made under difficult circumstances driven by urgency and panic, with uncertainties and complexities for public goods over individual rights. Global solidarity in controlling the pandemic is being tested. National governments have the responsibility to protect public health on the grounds of common good. Political considerations should not be the basis for decision-making against the best available epidemiological data from pandemic disease dynamics. Hence, the need to adhere to the values of honesty, trust, human dignity, solidarity, reciprocity, accountability, transparency, and justice are major considerations. A literature search was conducted for the publications from academic databases and websites of health-relevant organizations. I discuss the ethical questions and challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic in the context of public health control measures using the standard ethical principles of respect for autonomy, beneficence, nonmaleficence, and social (distributive) justice. It is observed that, at the country level, the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines are used to control the pandemic. As WHO through the COVAX strategy distributes the vaccines to less developed countries, a lot still needs to be done to address the complex bottlenecks of allocation and distribution. There is a need to ensure acceptable and transparent system that promotes cooperation, equitable access, and fair distribution of vaccines on a global scale.


Résumé La santé est un droit humain ancré dans des valeurs en tant que nécessité fondamentale de la vie. Elle favorise le bien-être des personnes, des collectivités, la prospérité économique et le développement national. La pandémie de COVID-19 a pris le monde au dépourvu et au dépourvu. Cela représente un énorme défi pour les systèmes de santé et économiques de chaque pays. Dans tout le spectre de l'activité humaine et de la liberté, plusieurs questions éthiques ont été soulevées concernant sa gestion, en particulier les mesures de contrôle de la santé publique. Les décisions concernant les mesures de lutte contre la pandémie sont prises dans des circonstances difficiles motivées par l'urgence et la panique, avec des incertitudes et des complexités pour les biens publics plutôt que les droits individuels. La solidarité mondiale dans la lutte contre la pandémie est mise à l'épreuve. Les gouvernements nationaux ont la responsabilité de protéger la santé publique au nom du bien commun. Les considérations politiques ne devraient pas être la base de la prise de décision par rapport aux meilleures données épidémiologiques disponibles sur la dynamique des maladies pandémiques. Ainsi, la nécessité d'adhérer aux valeurs d'honnêteté, de confiance, de dignité humaine, de solidarité, de réciprocité, de responsabilité, de transparence et de justice sont des considérations majeures. Une recherche documentaire a été menée pour les publications des bases de données universitaires et des sites Web d'organisations liées à la santé. Je discute des questions éthiques et des défis de la pandémie de COVID-19 dans le contexte des mesures de contrôle de la santé publique en utilisant les principes éthiques standard de respect de l'autonomie, de la bienfaisance, de la non-malfaisance et de la justice sociale (distributive). On constate qu'au niveau des pays, les directives de l'OMS sont utilisées pour contrôler la pandémie. Alors que l'OMS, via la stratégie COVAX, distribue les vaccins aux pays moins développés, il reste encore beaucoup à faire pour remédier aux goulots d'étranglement complexes de l'allocation et de la distribution. Il est nécessaire de garantir un système acceptable et transparent qui favorise la coopération, l'accès équitable et la distribution équitable des vaccins à l'échelle mondiale. critères d'attribution des vaccins COVID-19 dès qu'ils deviennent disponibles.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , Public Health/ethics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics/ethics , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Justice
5.
J Bioeth Inq ; 17(4): 461-463, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1384575
7.
Indian J Med Ethics ; VI(3): 1-7, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1319917

ABSTRACT

Convalescent plasma therapy emerged as an early experimental therapy for the treatment of Covid-19. However, despite limited data regarding its safety and efficacy, the therapy was extensively publicised by multiple politicians as a cure. We analyse the impact of this political narrative around medical therapeutics on the pandemic using the coherentist model of public health ethics. The clinical benefits of the therapy are evaluated in terms of reduction in mortality and disease progression as compared to the potential transfusion-related adverse events. Political advocacy of therapeutics might hamper the autonomy and decision-making of individuals and institutions. Marketing and monetisation of convalescent plasma might cause inequitable distribution and unregulated use. It also creates an economic burden on the government and healthcare which should be justified by the additional cost/effectiveness ratio of the therapy. This article exemplifies the inadvertent effects and ethical challenges following political narratives about medical therapeutics and the importance of involving ethics in designing policies concerning public healthcare.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/therapy , Pandemics , Politics , Public Health/ethics , COVID-19/immunology , Humans , Immunization, Passive , SARS-CoV-2 , Treatment Outcome
8.
Indian J Med Ethics ; VI(3): 1-10, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1319916

ABSTRACT

The article highlights the importance of strengthening of public systems and the need for rapid scaling up of access to testing and to appropriate therapeutics in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, to have in place robust public procurement systems for drugs and diagnostics. The paper draws lessons from the Tamil Nadu experience and validates the understanding that investing in public institutions is essential for rapid responsiveness to pandemics and other public health emergencies from both the ethical and health systems points of view.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Public Health/ethics , Public Health/methods , Humans , India/epidemiology , Public Health/standards , SARS-CoV-2
9.
Indian J Med Ethics ; VI(3): 1-20, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1319915

ABSTRACT

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused millions of cases and deaths worldwide and has caused a massive global economic contraction. Governments, policymakers, and medical professionals have been confronted with several complex bioethical dilemmas during these exceptional circumstances. In developing countries like India, having a large population base, inadequate preexisting public health infrastructure, and a multi-level government system with complex administrative mechanisms imposes enormous barriers and challenges in the effective and ethical management of the pandemic. Furthermore, endemic corruption, limited bureaucratic and organisational accountability, and weak oversight, especially among stakeholders in the vast private and non-government health and allied services sector, complicate the assessment of their adherence to ethical public health practices.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Ethical Analysis , Public Health/ethics , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/therapy , Government , Humans , India/epidemiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
10.
Bull World Health Organ ; 99(2): 155-161, 2021 Feb 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1261337

ABSTRACT

Restrictive measures imposed because of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic have resulted in severe social, economic and health effects. Some countries have considered the use of immunity certification as a strategy to relax these measures for people who have recovered from the infection by issuing these individuals a document, commonly called an immunity passport. This document certifies them as having protective immunity against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes COVID-19. The World Health Organization has advised against the implementation of immunity certification at present because of uncertainty about whether long-term immunity truly exists for those who have recovered from COVID-19 and concerns over the reliability of the proposed serological test method for determining immunity. Immunity certification can only be considered if scientific thresholds for assuring immunity are met, whether based on antibodies or other criteria. However, even if immunity certification became well supported by science, it has many ethical issues in terms of different restrictions on individual liberties and its implementation process. We examine the main considerations for the ethical acceptability of immunity certification to exempt individuals from restrictive measures during the COVID-19 pandemic. As well as needing to meet robust scientific criteria, the ethical acceptability of immunity certification depends on its uses and policy objectives and the measures in place to reduce potential harms, and prevent disproportionate burdens on non-certified individuals and violation of individual liberties and rights.


Les restrictions imposées dans le cadre de la lutte contre la pandémie de maladie à coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) ont eu de lourdes conséquences économiques, sociales et sanitaires. Certains pays ont envisagé la mise en place d'une stratégie visant à alléger ces restrictions pour les individus guéris en leur octroyant un document communément appelé «passeport d'immunité¼. Ce document atteste qu'ils ont développé une immunité protectrice contre le coronavirus 2 du syndrome respiratoire aigu sévère (SARS-CoV-2), le virus à l'origine de la COVID-19. L'Organisation mondiale de la Santé a déconseillé l'usage du certificat d'immunité pour l'instant, car l'incertitude demeure quant à l'existence réelle d'une immunité à long terme pour ceux qui se sont remis de la COVID-19. En outre, la fiabilité des tests sérologiques censés déterminer si l'individu est immunisé n'est pas avérée. Un tel certificat ne peut être instauré que si les seuils scientifiques en matière d'immunité sont respectés, qu'ils soient fondés sur les anticorps ou sur d'autres critères. Néanmoins, même si le certificat d'immunité est désormais bien accepté par la science, il s'accompagne de nombreuses questions d'ordre éthique en ce qui concerne la limitation des libertés individuelles et la mise en œuvre. Dans le présent document, nous examinons les principales considérations à prendre en compte pour garantir l'acceptabilité éthique du certificat d'immunité visant à lever les mesures de restriction pour certaines personnes durant la pandémie de COVID-19. Cette acceptabilité éthique dépend non seulement de son degré de conformité à des critères scientifiques stricts, mais aussi de son usage, des objectifs politiques ainsi que des mesures mises en place pour atténuer les préjudices potentiels et éviter d'imposer une charge disproportionnée sur les individus dépourvus de certificat, ou de bafouer les droits et libertés de tout un chacun.


Las medidas restrictivas impuestas a causa de la pandemia de la enfermedad coronavirus de 2019 (COVID-19) han tenido graves efectos sociales, económicos y sanitarios. Algunos países han considerado la posibilidad de utilizar la certificación de inmunidad como estrategia para flexibilizar dichas medidas para las personas que se han recuperado de la infección mediante la expedición a dichas personas de un documento, comúnmente denominado pasaporte de inmunidad. Este documento certifica que han desarrollado inmunidad protectora contra el coronavirus-2 del síndrome respiratorio agudo severo (SARS-CoV-2), el virus que causa la COVID-19. La Organización Mundial de la Salud ha desaconsejado la aplicación de la certificación de la inmunidad en la actualidad debido a la incertidumbre sobre si existe realmente una inmunidad a largo plazo para quienes se han recuperado de la COVID-19 y a las preocupaciones sobre la fiabilidad del método de prueba serológica propuesto para determinar la inmunidad. La certificación de la inmunidad solo puede considerarse si se cumplen los umbrales científicos para asegurar la inmunidad, ya sea que se basen en anticuerpos o en otros criterios. Sin embargo, incluso si la certificación de la inmunidad llegara a estar bien respaldada por la ciencia, tiene muchas cuestiones éticas en cuanto a las diferentes restricciones de las libertades individuales y su proceso de aplicación. Examinamos las principales consideraciones sobre la aceptabilidad ética de la certificación de la inmunidad para eximir a los individuos de las medidas restrictivas durante la pandemia de la COVID-19. Además de necesitar cumplir criterios científicos sólidos, la aceptabilidad ética de la certificación de inmunidad depende de sus usos y objetivos de política y de las medidas que se apliquen para reducir los posibles daños y evitar que se impongan cargas desproporcionadas a las personas que no cuenten con dicha certificación y se violen las libertades y derechos individuales.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Serological Testing/ethics , COVID-19/diagnosis , Certification/ethics , Pandemics , Public Health/ethics , Humans , Immunity, Humoral
11.
Indian J Med Ethics ; VI(1): 1-10, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1257361

ABSTRACT

Many states in India have invoked the provisions of the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, as a major tool in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. The current review attempts to discuss the ethical challenges in implementation of the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, to combat Covid-19 in India. Implementation of the Act in India has exposed its major limitations. It remains merely as a "policing" Act with no emphasis on coordinated and scientific responses to outbreaks and without provisions for protecting the rights of citizens. The Epidemic Diseases Act in its current form has the potential to cause more harm than good. Furthermore, the Epidemic Disease (Amendment) Bill, 2020, has not addressed any of these concerns. There is need for a rights-based, people-focused and public health-oriented law in India to deal with epidemics.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Disease Outbreaks/legislation & jurisprudence , Disease Outbreaks/prevention & control , Pandemics/legislation & jurisprudence , Pandemics/prevention & control , Public Health/ethics , Public Health/legislation & jurisprudence , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , India/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2
12.
Indian J Med Ethics ; VI(1): 1-3, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1257360

ABSTRACT

Large-scale vaccination with a safe and effective vaccine against Covid-19 is the only way to conquer the ongoing lethal pandemic that has led to extraordinary social and economic upheaval globally. Fortunately, the world is on the verge of developing Covid-19 vaccines in an unprecedentedly short time. More than forty vaccines are in different stages of clinical trials, and a few are in the crucial phase III studies stage. A new demand for emergency use authorisation and rapid deployment of these vaccines before scrutinising phase III trial data is raging in different quarters. Can advancement of the deployment of these vaccines by even a few weeks give us rich public health dividends? Would it be ethical to deploy these novel vaccines based only on the safety and immunogenicity data generated by the phase-I and II clinical trials? Would it be ethical to deny vaccination of vulnerable populations against an untreatable infectious disease despite the availability of reasonably safe and efficacious vaccines for the want of phase III trial data? The answer is not straightforward, as there are many complexities involved. This commentary attempts to discuss some ethical issues involved in a decision to deploy Covid-19 vaccination before phase III trial results are declared.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/prevention & control , Emergency Medical Services/ethics , Emergency Medical Services/legislation & jurisprudence , Morals , Vaccination/ethics , Vaccination/legislation & jurisprudence , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics/legislation & jurisprudence , Pandemics/prevention & control , Public Health/ethics , Public Health/legislation & jurisprudence , SARS-CoV-2
13.
Am Soc Clin Oncol Educ Book ; 41: e13-e19, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1249567

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic and the simultaneous increased focus on structural racism and racial/ethnic disparities across the United States have shed light on glaring inequities in U.S. health care, both in oncology and more generally. In this article, we describe how, through the lens of fundamental ethical principles, an ethical imperative exists for the oncology community to overcome these inequities in cancer care, research, and the oncology workforce. We first explain why this is an ethical imperative, centering the discussion on lessons learned during 2020. We continue by describing ongoing equity-focused efforts by ASCO and other related professional medical organizations. We end with a call to action-all members of the oncology community have an ethical responsibility to take steps to address inequities in their clinical and academic work-and with guidance to practicing oncologists looking to optimize equity in their research and clinical practice.


Subject(s)
Health Equity/statistics & numerical data , Health Status Disparities , Healthcare Disparities/statistics & numerical data , Medical Oncology/methods , Neoplasms/therapy , Racism/prevention & control , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , Health Equity/ethics , Healthcare Disparities/ethics , Humans , Medical Oncology/ethics , Medical Oncology/organization & administration , Neoplasms/diagnosis , Pandemics , Public Health/ethics , Public Health/methods , Public Health/statistics & numerical data , Racism/ethics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , United States
16.
Perspect Biol Med ; 64(2): 200-210, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1230167

ABSTRACT

John Stuart Mill's classic text, On Liberty, maps the scope and limits on individual freedom. His "harm principle"-that liberty can be legitimately restricted by government or society only to prevent harm to others-has had a great influence on contemporary public health ethics. This essay examines Mill's philosophy of liberty as it pertains to public health interventions in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Particular applications include examination of face masks, lockdowns, and mandatory vaccination.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Freedom , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Masks , Public Health/ethics
17.
Can J Public Health ; 112(3): 412-416, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1229506

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated both the positive and negative use, usefulness, and impact of digital technologies in public health. Digitalization can help advance and sustain the core functions of public health, including health promotion and prevention, epidemiological surveillance, and response to emergent health issues. Digital technologies are thus-in some areas of public discourse-presented as being both necessary and inevitable requirements to address routine and emergency public health issues. However, the circumstances, ways, and extent to which they apply remain a subject of critical reflection and empirical investigation. In this commentary, we argue that we must think through the use of digital technologies in public health and that their usefulness must be assessed in relation to their short- and long-term ethical, health equity, and social justice implications. Neither a sense of digital technological optimism and determinism nor the demands of addressing pressing public health issues should override critical assessment before development and implementation. The urgency of addressing public health emergencies such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic requires prompt and effective action, including action facilitated by digital technologies. Nevertheless, a sense of urgency cannot be an excuse or a substitute for a critical assessment of the tools employed.


RéSUMé: La pandémie de COVID-19 a montré les aspects positifs et négatifs de l'utilisation, de l'utilité et de l'impact des technologies numériques en santé publique. La numérisation peut contribuer à promouvoir et à soutenir les fonctions de base de la santé publique, dont la promotion de la santé, la prévention, la surveillance épidémiologique et la riposte aux nouvelles crises sanitaires. Les technologies numériques sont donc­dans certaines parties du discours public­présentées comme étant à la fois nécessaires et inévitables pour résoudre les problèmes de santé publique ordinaires ou urgents. Par contre, les circonstances, les moyens et la mesure dans laquelle elles s'appliquent font encore l'objet d'une réflexion critique et d'une investigation empirique. Dans ce commentaire, nous faisons valoir qu'il faut bien réfléchir à l'utilisation des technologies numériques en santé publique, et que leur utilité doit être analysée par rapport à leurs conséquences à court et à long terme sur l'éthique, l'équité en santé et la justice sociale. Ni les sentiments d'optimisme et de déterminisme à l'égard des technologies numériques, ni la nécessité de résoudre les problèmes de santé publique pressants ne devraient prendre le dessus sur l'analyse critique avant leur développement et leur mise en œuvre. L'urgence de résoudre des crises sanitaires comme la pandémie actuelle de COVID-19 nécessite une action rapide et efficace, et cette action peut être facilitée par les technologies numériques. Néanmoins, le sentiment d'urgence ne doit pas être une excuse et ne peut pas remplacer une analyse critique des outils employés.


Subject(s)
Digital Technology , Health Equity , Public Health/ethics , Social Justice , COVID-19 , Humans
18.
Bioethics ; 35(6): 581-588, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1216724

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an immense and worldwide impact. In light of future pandemics or subsequent waves of COVID-19 it is crucial to focus on the ethical issues that were and still are raised in this COVID-19 crisis. In this paper, we look at issues that are raised in the testing and tracing of patients with COVID-19. We do this by highlighting and expanding on an approach suggested by Fineberg that could serve as a public health approach. In this way, we highlight several ethical issues. As regards testing, questions are raised such as whether it is ethical to use less reliable tests in order to increase testing capacity or minimize harm for patients. Another issue is how wide testing should be and whether selective testing is in accordance with principles of social justice. Patients who have recovered from COVID-19 might have some degree of immunity but attributing certain 'immunopriviliges' raises ethical questions. The use of various tracing methodologies (mobile apps or databases and trained tracers) raised evident questions of social justice and privacy. We argue why it is key to always uphold a test of proportionality where a fair balance must be sought.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing/ethics , COVID-19 , Contact Tracing/ethics , Ethics , Mass Screening/ethics , Pandemics , Public Health/ethics , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/prevention & control , Contact Tracing/methods , Data Management , Humans , Mobile Applications , Privacy , Reproducibility of Results , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Justice
19.
Lancet Glob Health ; 9(8): e1169-e1171, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1213869

ABSTRACT

The ethical distribution of life-saving medical and public health interventions to vulnerable groups has often been overlooked. Valuation of life linked to an individual's country of origin, the pharmaceutical industry's prioritisation of profit, the exploitation of vulnerable groups in clinical trials, and the resulting hesitancy towards drugs and vaccines have, among other factors, made the human right to health unattainable for many people. The COVID-19 pandemic presents itself as an opportunity to reverse this long-standing trajectory of unethical practices in global health. By ensuring the ethical inclusion of vulnerable groups in the vaccine development process and making a safe, effective vaccine accessible to all, pharmaceutical companies, governments, and international organisations can usher in a new era of global health that relies solely on ethical decision making.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19/prevention & control , Global Health/ethics , Health Care Rationing/ethics , Public Health/ethics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Vulnerable Populations
20.
Acad Med ; 96(11): 1518-1523, 2021 11 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1207326

ABSTRACT

Public health crises palpably demonstrate how social determinants of health have led to disparate health outcomes. The staggering mortality rates among African Americans, Native Americans, and Latinx Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic have revealed how recalcitrant structural inequities can exacerbate disparities and render not just individuals but whole communities acutely vulnerable. While medical curricula that educate students about disparities are vital in rousing awareness, it is experience that is most likely to instill passion for change. The authors first consider the roots of health care disparities in relation to the current pandemic. Then, they examine the importance of salient learning experiences that may inspire a commitment to championing social justice. Experiences in diverse communities can imbue medical students with a desire for lifelong learning and advocacy. The authors introduce a 3-pillar framework that consists of trust building, structural competency, and cultural humility. They discuss how these pillars should underpin educational efforts to improve social determinants of health. Effecting systemic change requires passion and resolve; therefore, perseverance in such efforts is predicated on learners caring about the structural inequities in housing, education, economic stability, and neighborhoods-all of which influence the health of individuals and communities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Education, Medical/ethics , Racism/ethnology , African Americans , Awareness , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Education, Medical/statistics & numerical data , Female , Healthcare Disparities/ethnology , Humans , Male , Minority Groups , Problem-Based Learning/statistics & numerical data , Public Health/ethics , Public Health/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Social Determinants of Health/ethnology , Social Determinants of Health/statistics & numerical data , Social Justice/ethics , Stakeholder Participation , Students, Medical/statistics & numerical data , United States/epidemiology
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