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date: 15 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter introduces ethical issues that arise in the context of biosecurity: policies and actions intended to prevent the development or emergence, or mitigate the consequences, of serious biological threats. These threats could include deliberate biological weapon attacks (bioterrorism), pandemics, emerging infectious diseases, or major laboratory accidents. The basic values that underpin these public health concerns are first introduced. Ethical issues that arise before, during, and following a biosecurity crisis are then examined, including issues of resource allocation, dual-use research, and the possibility of quarantine. Their resolution requires trade-offs among different ethical values, including utility, fairness, and liberty.

Keywords: biosecurity, bioterrorism, biological threats, dual-use research, infectious disease, quarantine, resource allocation, public health ethics, utility, fairness, liberty

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