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Pandemic Planning a First
An ethic committee pandemic planniing report
Hon Pete Hodgson 5/07/2007 Report of ethics committee on pandemic planning Health Minister Pete Hodgson has announced the publication of the National Ethics Advisory Committee (NEAC) report Getting Through Together: Ethical values for a pandemic. The report provides guidance on restrictive measures, the responsibilities of health professionals, how to prioritise health services and neighbourliness/and whânaungatanga during any future pandemic. New Zealand is the only country to date to include national public consultation on ethical issues in pandemic planning, including public feedback. It builds on work done by health professional organisations, including the New Zealand Medical Association and the Medical Council, and has been recognised internationally by the World Health Organisation. "Doctors and nurses will have to make tough decisions about who should get treatment first. Having consulted health professionals and the public, this report offers them guidance about how they can do that,” Pete Hodgson says. The report includes two hypothetical cases - a community response to a pandemic and a hospital based case. The community case is based on the actual response of New Zealanders to the 1918 pandemic. Canterbury University historian Geoffrey Rice, who contributed to the community case, drew on examples from his book Black November (2005) and interviews with survivors of the 1918 pandemic. He says fear of infection or death was a constraint on some peoples’ responses and is likely to be seen again in a future pandemic. At the same time, there were many examples of brave people helping their friends and neighbours regardless of the risk. www.moh.govt.nz/moh.nsf/indexmh/neac-getting-through-together?Open