Title

Why We Should Care about Ebola in West Africa and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome in South Korea: Global Health Ethics and the Moral Insignificance of Proximity

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

12-2015

Publication Title

Journal of Bioethical Inquiry

DOI

10.1007/s11673-015-9677-x

ISSN

1872-4353

Abstract

In the era of globalization, no society exists in isolation. Global transportation networks facilitate the international spread of emerging infectious diseases, such as Ebola and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). From restrictions of travel with regard to Ebola-stricken countries to international aid delivered to West Africa, from advice against travelling to South Korea (The Government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region 2015) to experts from the World Health Organization visiting Seoul, decisions made by any country often have global health ramifications. Global health advocates affirm the importance of moral responsibilities for global public health. However, does everyone have moral responsibilities to help stop the Ebola outbreak in West Africa or MERS in South Korea and the Middle East? Should we consider global health issues to be as important as domestic ones?

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