Journal of Bioethical Inquiry

, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 115–127 | Cite as

“With Human Health It’s a Global Thing”: Canadian Perspectives on Ethics in the Global Governance of an Influenza Pandemic

  • Alison K. ThompsonEmail author
  • Maxwell J. Smith
  • Christopher W. McDougall
  • Cécile Bensimon
  • Daniel Felipe Perez
Original Research


We live in an era where our health is linked to that of others across the globe, and nothing brings this home better than the specter of a pandemic. This paper explores the findings of town hall meetings associated with the Canadian Program of Research on Ethics in a Pandemic (CanPREP), in which focus groups met to discuss issues related to the global governance of an influenza pandemic. Two competing discourses were found to be at work: the first was based upon an economic rationality and the second upon a humanitarian rationality. The implications for public support and the long-term sustainability of new global norms, networks, and regulations in global public health are discussed.


Global health Pandemic influenza Global health ethics Solidarity Deliberative methods 


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Copyright information

© Journal of Bioethical Inquiry Pty Ltd. 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alison K. Thompson
    • 1
    Email author
  • Maxwell J. Smith
    • 2
  • Christopher W. McDougall
    • 3
  • Cécile Bensimon
    • 4
  • Daniel Felipe Perez
    • 5
  1. 1.Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, Dalla Lana School of Public Health & Joint Centre for BioethicsUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Dalla Lana School of Public Health, Joint Centre for BioethicsUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  3. 3.Institute for Health Policy, Management and EvaluationUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  4. 4.Joint Centre for BioethicsUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  5. 5.School of Kinesiology and Health Science, Faculty of Health, York UniversityNorman Bethune CollegeTorontoCanada

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