Eleventh Futures Forum on the ethical governance of pandemic influenza preparedness (2008)
2008, iv + 28 pages
ISBN 978 92 890 7186 4
This publication is only available online.
The Eleventh Futures Forum reviewed some countries' experience in applying ethical governance approaches to a major contemporary policy concern for WHO and its Member States: preparedness for an influenza pandemic. The topic provided a concrete policy-making example that participants could use to discuss broader and more generic ethical governance approaches in European health systems.
Decision-makers could face a number of key ethical questions in an influenza pandemic, such as how to ensure equitable, fair and cost-effective access to curative drugs, vaccines and medical treatment, how to set priorities for treatment, and how to allocate resources to prevent and treat influenza. The Forum aimed to enable the participants to identify good practices, exchange and learn from experience in ethically governing pandemic influenza preparedness and identify some of the knowledge gaps.
This report describes the ethical considerations used in pandemic influenza planning in the WHO European Region, WHO's work on incorporating ethical considerations in the development of such plans, some possible guiding principles for ethical decision-making, the ethical frameworks for pandemic influenza planning in three countries (Norway, Switzerland and the United Kingdom), national decision-making structures for planning and response (with a case study from Belgium), the issue of public participation in ethical questions in pandemic influenza preparedness, and the Forum's conclusions. It is hoped that this publication will contribute to global work on the ethics of pandemic influenza planning, and, through the exchange of experience with the tools countries are using for ethical policy-making, further promote and concretize the policy principles of ethical governance of health systems in the WHO European Region.