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Revista médica de Chile

Print version ISSN 0034-9887


PABLO BECA, Juan  and  SALAS, Sofía P. Ethical and health issues posed by the recent Ebola epidemic: What should we learn?. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2016, vol.144, n.3, pp.371-376. ISSN 0034-9887.

The recent Ebola epidemic that affected several countries in Africa, with very high mortality and a pandemic threat, posed problems of justice, public health, prevention, treatment and research, each of which has relevant ethical issues. Despite severe initial difficulties, an effective international response was achieved, whose outcome has left significant teachings to be considered in order to deal with future epidemics or pandemics. In this article, the authors analyze the main problems faced during the Ebola epidemic, including the unequal distribution of health resources between countries, the need for international collaboration, the requirement for a review of the ethical standards of clinical trials in emergencies, and the necessity of an organized global system of prevention and timely response to these outbreaks. Authors conclude that at the present time health is a global issue without borders, that insufficient healthcare resources in some countries poses risks and affects all countries and that the confrontation of the threats of epidemics requires a solution based in universal solidarity. At the same time, a moral duty to investigate should be acknowledged, seeking a balance between sense of urgency, scientific rigor and involvement of local communities.

Keywords : Ebola virus; Ethics, research; Public Health; Social Justice.

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