Researchers develop ethical guidelines for Ebola treatment

Healthcare workers and institutions can develop policies on care decisions for Ebola patients using five points of guidance, according to a new article published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. The points include assessing clinician risk; developing policies that give individual clinicians leeway on decisions; committee monitoring for clinician decisions; disclosure of why a treatment may be withheld; and the necessity of monitoring and publicly reporting decisions. "Our core argument is that whereas standard medical decision-making considers the risks and benefits to the patient, Ebola presents sufficient risk that it is appropriate to simultaneously consider risks to healthcare workers in setting guidelines," coauthor Scott Halpern, M.D., told Medscape Medical News. "This is a relatively new way of thinking that would apply only in certain circumstances with clear and sizable risks." Article