Disaster Bioethics: addressing ethical issues triggered by disasters
Disasters overwhelm local and often national capacity to respond effectively. Significant imbalances result between needs and available resources. Disasters have become more frequent and more costly, trends predicted to continue. As a result, disaster risk reduction and management are important priorities for national, European and global agencies. Ethical decisions must be made throughout disaster planning and in responses. High levels statements stress the importance of disaster ethics to put people first in disasters. Yet few resources are available for disaster ethics decision-making. Policy makers, humanitarian agencies and individual responders seek ethical guidance and training materials to better address the challenging and distressful ethical dilemmas in disasters. Evidence-based knowledge is required to promote high-quality ethical decision-making.
This Action aims to improve ethical decision-making for disasters by gathering knowledge of the ethical dilemmas and issues, carefully examining them, and developing training materials and published resources to address disaster ethics. These outputs will assist policy-makers, humanitarian organisations, healthcare professionals, researchers and the public. The Action will benefit European citizens, organisations and States who already provide extensive resources for disaster relief. Thereby, the Action will benefit those affected by disasters which disproportionately impact lower income countries and the more vulnerable within those regions.
Full Memorandum of Understanding
Read more about the action in the Memorandum of Understanding (direct link to COST.eu website) as it has been accepted by COST.
Right: Unknown Artist, Christmas Flood of 1717, 1719.
Left: By Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC (http://visibleearth.nasa.gov/view_rec.php?id=7938) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons