In the Wake of Terror
About the book
The war on terrorism and the threat of chemical and biological weapons have brought a new urgency to already complex moral and bioethical questions. In the Wake of Terror presents thought-provoking essays on many of the troubling issues facing American society, written by experts from the fields of medicine, health care policy, law, political science, history, philosophy, and theology.
One of the first potential casualties of catastrophic circumstances is civil liberties. In the past, medical experiments conducted for national security purposes have violated ethical standards, and this book questions whether current policy provides sufficient safeguards against further abuses. It also focuses on public health issues, offering contrasting views on the extent to which civil authorities should be allowed to restrict freedom of movement in the name of national security and debating whether aggressive public health interventions improve public confidence and cooperation or detract from them.
A major area of concern is preparedness for future terrorist attacks. Chapters are devoted to ethical issues involved in the development, distribution, and rationing of vaccines and antidotes; resource allocation and medical triage; the moral duties of emergency health workers and other first responders; and the obligations of private entities such as managed care organizations and pharmaceutical companies. Contributors also address the implications of terrorism for our health insurance system and the role of genetic advances in bioterrorism. Underlying all of these issues, the authors argue, is the need to maintain a spirit of social solidarity, which can in turn only be achieved if preparations are publicly acknowledged and generally regarded as both prudent and fair.
“It is impossible to do full justice (herein) to the rich and varied nature of…this collection.”
—Jonathan Kahn, JAMA
Praise for the book
“In the Wake of Terror establishes a scholarly beachhead in our thinking about ethics and the war on bioterrorism. In looking both forward and at important historical events, it offers lessons for how to avoid mistakes from the past, and how to apply thoughtful approaches in our efforts to confront the terrors of the future. The lessons in its chapters have a particular resonance at a time of heightened attention to homeland security, and are important for students, scholars, and policymakers alike.”
—Jeffrey Kahn, Director, Center for Bioethics, and Professor of Medicine, University of Minnesota
“In the Wake of Terror should be required reading for policymakers and scholars alike as we prepare and evaluate our responses to bioterrorism and other emergent crises of the twenty-first century destined to overwhelm our public health system. The scope and depth of the topics covered in this volume will serve as a crucial resource for anyone interested in understanding and critically assessing health policy and decision making in a time of urgency.”
—Anna Mastroianni, University of Washington School of Law and Institute for Public Health Genetics
“From preparation to response to aftermath, a comprehensive and sobering look at the challenges for ethically sound research and health care in a time of terror.”
—R. Alta Charo, Professor of Law and Bioethics, University of Wisconsin Law and Medical Schools