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Hosp Q. 2003;7(1):38-40.

SARS and ethics.

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Division of Neurosurgery, Toronto Western Hospital, University Health Network, Joint Centre for Bioethics, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


SARS is a devastating disease that caused widespread morbidity and mortality, as well as tremendous fear and uncertainty across the global village. There are numerous challenging medical aspects of this disease. Methods required to control it also raised significant ethical challenges for decision-markers both in real time, and for the future. A group at the Joint Centre for Bioethics (JCB) at the University of Toronto formally explored the ethical dimensions of this outbreak. The author briefly reviews the analysis by the JCB group and further examines how bioethical principles and theories relate to the numerous ethical issues raised by SARS and the methods used in its containment.

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