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Public Health Disasters: A Global Ethical Framework

  • Book
  • © 2018


  • Presents the first conceptual examination of the notion of public health disasters
  • Offers unique ethical insights into the overlapping issues between disasters bioethics and public health ethics
  • Underscores the limitations of extant global health approaches to infectious disease outbreaks and natural disasters

Part of the book series: Advancing Global Bioethics (AGBIO, volume 12)

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About this book

This book presents the first critical examination of the overlapping ethical, sociocultural, and policy-related issues surrounding disasters, global bioethics, and public health ethics. These issues are elucidated under the conceptual rubric: Public health disasters (PHDs). The book defines PHDs as public health issues with devastating social consequences, the attendant public health impacts of natural or man-made disasters, and  latent or low prevalence public health issues with the potential to rapidly acquire pandemic capacities. This notion is illustrated using Ebola and pandemic influenza outbreaks, atypical drug-resistant tuberculosis, and the health emergencies of earthquakes as focal points. Drawing on an approach that reckons with microbial, existential, and anthropological realities; the book develops a relational-based global ethical framework that can help address the local, anthropological, ecological, and transnational dynamics of the ethical issues engendered by public health disasters.  The book also charts some of the critical roles that relevant local and transnational stakeholders may play in translating the proposed global ethical framework from the sphere of concept to the arena of action. This title is of immense benefit to bioethics scholars, public and global health policy experts, as well as graduate students working in the area of global health, public health ethics, and disaster bioethics.

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Table of contents (7 chapters)

Authors and Affiliations

  • International Journal of Ethics Education, Center for Healthcare Ethics, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, USA

    Michael Olusegun Afolabi

About the author

Michael O.S. Afolabi earned a PhD in Healthcare Ethics from Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA, USA. He has a  background in Biomedical sciences (Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Nigeria), Innovation and Economic Development (University of Tampere, Finland), and Clinical Ethics (Providence, USA). Dr. Afolabi combines his expertise in biomedical sciences and public health policy with bioethical rhetoric to pursue and proffer solutions to the ethical dilemmas elicited by individual, social and institutional health issues. His approach to these issues from local and trans-national perspectives make his work very relevant in contemporary global health. He has published a number of research articles in peer-reviewed journals, and has shared some of his insights at academic conferences in Africa, North America, Asia, and Europe.

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