Why can't I visit? The ethics of visitation restrictions - lessons learned from SARS

Crit Care. 2004 Oct;8(5):300-2. doi: 10.1186/cc2930. Epub 2004 Aug 31.


Patients want, need and expect that their relatives will be able to visit them during inpatient admissions or accompany them during ambulatory visits. The sudden outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), or a similar contagious pathogen, will restrict the number of people entering the hospital. The ethical values that underlie visitor restrictions are discussed here.

MeSH terms

  • Civil Rights / ethics
  • Cross Infection / prevention & control*
  • Disease Outbreaks
  • Family / psychology*
  • Hospital Administration / ethics*
  • Humans
  • Ontario / epidemiology
  • Organizational Policy
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome / prevention & control*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Visitors to Patients*