Ethical decisions in times of disaster: choices healthcare workers must make

J Trauma Nurs. Jul-Sep 2007;14(3):163-4. doi: 10.1097/01.jtn.0000292118.73023.8b.


Healthcare providers are faced with increasing ethical challenges in providing care for patients during times of disaster and other public health emergencies. The code of ethics for most healthcare professions is somewhat ambiguous when addressing the responsibilities of healthcare providers during these times. The American Medical Association has created new, stronger language addressing physicians' duty to care for patients since the events of September 11, 2001, but other professions have not followed suit. Until such time, healthcare providers will continue to be faced with making challenging ethical decisions with little direction.

MeSH terms

  • Codes of Ethics
  • Disaster Planning*
  • Health Care Rationing / ethics*
  • Humans
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Public Health / ethics
  • Public Health / trends
  • Triage / ethics
  • United States