U.S. Medical Centers Shy Away From African Ebola Service

U.S. Medical Centers Shy Away From African Ebola Service

"Striking Absence' of Commitments by U.S. Institutions Cited
While large amounts of hospital resources have been devoted to preparations to treat any new cases of Ebola inside the U.S., there has simultaneously been a "striking absence" of public commitments by U.S. health care institutions to
Scott Halpern
Penn Medicine's Scott Halpern, is an Assistant Professor at the Perelman School of Medicine, an LDI Senior Fellow, and Deputy Director of LDI's Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics (CHIBE).

contribute to the Ebola containment effort in Africa, writes Scott Halpern in a PLOS blog post.

Halpern, MD, PhD, MBE, an Assistant Professor of both Medicine and Epidemiology at Penn's Perelman School of Medicine and LDI Senior Fellow, wrote the piece with colleagues Michell Mello of Stanford Law School and Maria Merritt of Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics.

Travel prohibitions
The trio report that many academic medical centers have asked their health care professionals to not go to West African areas ravaged by the disease; some others have prohibited official travel to affected regions and "made clear that the university will not assist if the health care professional falls ill."

The blog post goes on to argue the reasons that health care institutions should facilitate U.S. medical personnel's service in African Ebola hot spots.

Moral Obligations
For instance, along with a moral obligation to render humanitarian assistance, Halpern and colleagues note that "intervening to stop the spread of Ebola is also a vital way to protect the rest of the world," and that "hospitals ought to consider the role of health care professionals' service in the future protection of their own patients, workers and communities."