The National Ethics Advisory Committee – Kāhui Matatika o te Motu (NEAC) has completed its work on ethical values for a pandemic.
One of NEAC’s main statutory functions is to advise the Minister of Health on ethical issues of national significance regarding health and disability. The Committee believes that minimising harm from any pandemic, minimising inequalities in the impact of any pandemic, and getting through any pandemic together are issues of this sort.
Getting Through Together considers ethical issues in a pandemic:
- Section one introduces the statement of ethical values and its purpose and then describes how this statement could be used.
- Section two outlines two cases, one in an urban community and one in a hospital, to explore the challenges we may face when planning for, and responding to, a pandemic.
- Section three describes in a range of settings why we think the shared values identified in the statement are important.
NEAC hopes that a wide range of people, including health professionals, planners, policy makers and members of the public and business community, can use Getting Through Together as they plan for, and think about, their potential response to a pandemic. Emphasis is given to using shared values to assist people to care for themselves, their whānau and their neighbours, and using shared values to make decisions in situations of overwhelming demand.
Internationally, this work is unique in having had wide public input. It is the result of a consultation on a discussion document in 2006. NEAC warmly thanks all those who made valuable contributions to the creation of this document.