AMA Journal of Ethics®

Illuminating the art of medicine

Journal of Ethics Header

AMA Journal of Ethics®

Illuminating the art of medicine

Virtual Mentor. April 2006, Volume 8, Number 04

Ethics Poll

Medicine in Epidemics: Should the Rules Change?

The Ethics Poll is a snapshot of the opinions of interested readers.

1. During an outbreak of a life-threatening infectious disease, is a physician justified in choosing to evacuate to a disease-free zone?
2. If an infectious pandemic such as avian flu were to occur in the U.S. today, the country is:
3. Have you ever asked a physician for a prescription of an antiviral or antibiotic medication, "just in case?"
4. When a decision to uphold the rights of an individual patient is at odds with safeguarding the public health, a physician's primary ethical responsibility is to:
Poll results reflect the opinions of visitors to the site who voluntarily answer the poll questions. Those visitors do not represent a random sample of Virtual Mentor readers. The viewpoints expressed on this site are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the AMA.