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  • BioEdge: On the front lines of the war on Ebola
    repugnant In the centre people groan and cry out the smell of blood diarrhoea and vomit is awful unfortunately there is also a very pervading smell of dead bodies I can only leave it to your imagination to understand what a pile of bodies smells like after a week in very hot moist surroundings it makes you feel sick quite a lot of the time Nobody else has been near them for days They must feel very lonely and very frightened I am responsible for infection control which means that my first job is to ensure the safety of the people I work with and of myself We have to wear our scrubs then two or three pairs of gloves a completely waterproof suit and a head covering a mask goggles and a big apron over the top It s incredibly hot and humid when you undress back to the scrubs afterwards it looks like someone has just poured a bucket of water over you I try to go round the patients and help where I can and give them some water I ll change and wash patients and just try and give some physical contact to each person because nobody else will touch them nobody else has been near them for days They must feel very lonely and very frightened I don t know how much comfort I am bringing to people when I m dressed in a mask and goggles and completely covered from head to foot If we have children at the treatment centre which we quite often do I ll try to bring them some toys and have a little game with them if I can There is always an element of risk when I work for MSF I could be caught in crossfire I could always pick up a nasty disease and there s the small chance of kidnap And normally I would put that risk at about one in 1 000 So it s not that high But I must admit when I sat down and thought about it I would say the risk for me now is about one in 10 I go partly because of my belief that there should be social justice in the world that there should be some sort of equality The people I m helping are part of the human race part of humanity in that respect all people for me are the same I feel I have as much obligation to help a stranger as I do to help someone I know That last time I was in Liberia I must have moved hundreds of bodies but only three people survived during the month that I was there I don t think you can see that many bodies without viewing death in a different way I try to always make sure that the team I m working with stops for a moment to say goodbye to the person before we put them in the body bag We

    Original URL path: http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/on_the_front_lines_of_the_war_on_ebola/11153 (2016-02-18)
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  • BioEdge: the latest news and articles about bioethics
    her day to day work Search BioEdge Subscribe to BioEdge newsletter Subscribe to BioEdge RSS feed Recent Posts Dutch psychiatric patients may get euthanasia too easily says US study 14 Feb 2016 A Dutch report applies the brakes on completed life euthanasia 13 Feb 2016 Celebrating 15 years of Dutch euthanasia 13 Feb 2016 Canada s euthanasia courts 13 Feb 2016 IVF audit in Australia 13 Feb 2016 Archive Feb

    Original URL path: http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/tag/heroism (2016-02-18)
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  • BioEdge: Ebola in West Africa: the stakes rise
    labour intensive The World Health Organization estimates that about 760 foreign volunteers will be needed over the next six months when the epidemic may begin to wane Another 12 900 workers must be recruited from the affected countries It takes about 200 to 250 healthcare workers to treat for 80 Ebola patients at one centre The ratio is so high partly because people can only work in the protective suits for an hour As Roll Call a US politics site put it the worst epidemic in the four decade recorded history of the disease has made the challenge one of manpower rather than financial resources Médecins Sans Frontières Doctors Without Borders is advertising frantically for international volunteers in addition to the 210 it has already deployed The US government s response will help says its spokesman Jason Cone but more is needed Some health workers in the affected countries refuse to work unless they receive protective gear and their salaries Some experts are very pessimistic Jonas Schmidt Chanasit of the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine in Hamburg told Deutsche Welle that the battle has already been lost in Liberia and Sierra Leone He believes that the epidemic will burn itself out by infecting more or less everyone and half the population will die The WHO refused to comment on this Given the scale of the problem there is no possibility whatsoever of defeating this epidemic with drugs Hence bioethical commentary on the issue has shifted away from the ethics of the compassionate use of experimental drugs to public health issues The observations of Udo Schuklenk the Canada based editor of Bioethics and Developing World Bioethics about his colleagues were scathing Did we stress that WHO s choice of topic and the supposed urgency of its recommendation to provide access

    Original URL path: http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/ebola_in_west_africa_the_stakes_rise/11144 (2016-02-18)
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  • BioEdge: The ethics of running scared
    their lives if their government cannot provide adequate safeguards In the absence of clear guidance healthcare workers face a moral dilemma Their conscience urges them to treat all patients but a convergence of failed health system factors the danger to life emotional considerations like danger posed to family and friends and the absence of commensurate compensation for engaging in such high risk service can make following one s conscience costly Traditionally public health ethics has focused on the rights of the public But the authors point out that healthcare workers have also have a right to be protected If the government is incapable of keeping htem safe there is not unconditional obligation to give care Requiring healthcare workers to provide care to patients with EVD puts undue burden on them Since the principle of justice requires fair distribution of benefits and risks it is only fair that affected countries make arrangements to adequately compensate healthcare workers who become infected in the course of duty MORE ON THESE TOPICS Ebola public health This article is published by Michael Cook and BioEdge under a Creative Commons licence You may republish it or translate it free of charge with attribution for non commercial

    Original URL path: http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/the_ethics_of_running_scared/11145 (2016-02-18)
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  • BioEdge: On the front line of the war on Ebola
    whole thing would collapse There are times when I say Oh my God I should have chosen secretarial she says But nursing is the calling of God The Times describes the difficult and dangerous work of those who continue to serve the front line is stitched together by people like Ms Sellu doctors and nurses who give their lives to treat patients who will probably die janitors who clean up lethal pools of vomit and waste so that beleaguered health centers can stay open drivers who venture into villages overcome by illness to retrieve patients body handlers charged with the dangerous task of keeping highly infectious corpses from sickening others Their sacrifices are evident from the statistics alone At least 129 health workers have died fighting the disease according to the World Health Organization But while many workers have fled leaving already shaky health systems in shambles many new recruits have signed up willingly often for little or no pay and sometimes giving up their homes communities and even families in the process The United Nations System Coordinator on Ebola David Nabarro says that people fighting the virus healthcare workers and survivors are to be commended People who are battling Ebola virus disease are courageous people People who are supporting them are courageous people This courage is extraordinary When I hear and see that people have survived Ebola virus disease I see them as people who not only have demonstrated huge courage but also who have massive potential Increasingly these people are volunteering to serve to support the treatment of others who are actually still infected with the virus Increasingly they are becoming ambassadors for the community of people who are at risk of Ebola virus disease MORE ON THESE TOPICS Ebola public health This article is published by Michael

    Original URL path: http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/on_the_front_line_of_the_war_on_ebola/11127 (2016-02-18)
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  • BioEdge: Divergent approaches to treating Ebola
    with a view to strengthen health systems and infrastructure is the most effective way to curb this epidemic and prevent future ones it has positive externalities for health promotion and offers fair benefits to communities who engage in research in this outbreak Experimental Ebola treatments or vaccines should only be deployed in clinical trials One reason for being restrictive is that untested drugs could actually be dangerous They say irrespective of hope we need to be realistic The distance between preclinical promise and clinical use is vast and littered with failed compounds Only 10 of new molecular entities succeed from the point of preclinical candidate selection to commercial launch Although promising in non human primates there is no reason to believe that the experimental Ebola interventions will be more successful In other words it is more likely than not that the interventions will not improve or save patients and might even weaken them as they battle a life threatening disease They also believe that lessons should be learned from the Ebola epidemic about how to strengthen health systems in these impoverished countries In the long run this is what will save lives Although Ebola s rapid spread and high rate of mortality capture our attention the disease needs to be put into perspective Cumulatively in the past four decades Ebola has claimed less than 3000 lives By contrast the death toll in sub Saharan Africa was 547 322 from diarrhoeal diseases and 222 767 from pneumococcal pneumonia in 2010 alone many of these deaths could have been prevented through access to basic health care including cheap vaccines and improved sanitation Thus strengthening of health systems and infrastructure will have positive externalities for health promotion after this epidemic subsides MORE ON THESE TOPICS clinical trials Ebola public health This article is

    Original URL path: http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/divergent_approaches_to_treating_ebola/11117 (2016-02-18)
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  • WHO endorses use of untested Ebola treatments
    is ethical to offer unregistered treatments The panel believed that the extent of the outbreak and the high case fatality rate outweighed concerns about the side effects of untested treatments In the particular circumstances of this outbreak and provided certain conditions are met the panel reached consensus that it is ethical to offer unproven interventions with as yet unknown efficacy and adverse effects as potential treatment or prevention The two American victims of the virus as well as Spanish victim Rev Miguel Pajares received an experimental anti ebola drug called ZMapp Pajares has since died but the American patients are in a stable condition Small shipments of Zmapp have arrived in the Liberia for use on infected doctors Nigerian patients will receive an experimental drug called Nano Silver produced by an anonymous Nigerian scientist MORE ON THESE TOPICS compassionate use Ebola This article is published by Xavier Symons and BioEdge under a Creative Commons licence You may republish it or translate it free of charge with attribution for non commercial purposes following these guidelines If you teach at a university we ask that your department make a donation Commercial media must contact us for permission and fees Some articles on

    Original URL path: http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/who_endorses_use_of_untested_ebola_treatments/11097 (2016-02-18)
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  • BioEdge: the latest news and articles about bioethics
    patients infected with the disease Compassionate use Putting drug regulations to the test Xavier Symons 01 August 2014 Comments tags clinical trials compassionate use When should pharmaceutical companies grant compassionate use of experimental treatments How readily available should the drugs be A PBS news segment considers these issues Search BioEdge Subscribe to BioEdge newsletter Subscribe to BioEdge RSS feed Recent Posts Dutch psychiatric patients may get euthanasia too easily says

    Original URL path: http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/tag/compassionate+use (2016-02-18)
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