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Author Archive: Joseph Fins

04/10/2015

Ethics in the Age of Ebola

by Joseph J. Fins, M.D.
It now seems a lifetime ago. The first case of Ebola had come to the Western hemisphere and taken the life of Thomas Eric Duncan at a Dallas, Texas hospital. His death, and other cases in the “developed” world, led to a predictable media deluge, a good bit of hysteria, and predictable political posturing. As the November election approached, fear and ideology took hold, with calls for quarantine and allegations of discrimination coming from predictable precincts.
I waded into this political tempest on October 10, when I published an essay on the Hastings Center’s Bioethics Forum raising questions about the ethical propriety of unilateral do not resuscitate (DNR) orders for patients in extremis with Ebola (Fins 2015).

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