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Attending to Social Vulnerability when Rationing Pandemic Resources

DE Vawter; JE Garrett; KG Gervais; AW Prehn; DA DeBruin
Journal of Clinical Ethics

March 1, 2011

Pandemic plans are increasingly attending to groups experiencing health disparities and other social vulnerabilities. Although some pandemic guidance is silent on the issue, guidance that attends to socially vulnerable groups ranges widely, some procedural (often calling for public engagement), and some substantive. The Minnesota Pandemic Ethics Project (MPEP), a public engagement project on rationing scarce health resources during a severe influenza pandemic, agrees and recommends an integrated set of ways to attend to the needs of socially vulnerable people and avoid exacerbation of health disparities during a severe influenza pandemic.