Tuesday, April 28

Swine Flu Outbreak


The link above is an article titled "Swine Flu Outbreaks and the Ethics of being Sick" by Janet Stemwedel. In the article, Stemwedel discusses many ethical questions regarding what to do when you sick. One question she raises is that of staying in bed vs. seeking medical care. In this section of the article, she discusses the cost-benefit analysis of staying in bed vs. getting medical care when you are not sure how serious your illness is. She brings up many interesting points for when you should get medical care vs. when you should tough it out. This dilemma reminds me of the prisoners dilemma reading we discussed in class earlier this semester. There are costs and risks that each decision you make takes on, and it is often difficult to figure out what the best solution will be to end up with the best possible outcome. On one hand, going staying in bed and toughing your illness out will not put a burden on the hospital resources who need to help people who actually have the flu opposed to those who are not sure. On the other hand; however, if you do not get treated, you have the possibility of getting sicker; also, if you do recover on your own, the tracking of the illness cannot be recorded and this also becomes a disadvantageous outcome. It's defintely a very interesting question to ask yourself when you come down with something and are not sure of the severity of your illness. I'd like to hear what you all think of the article and ethical issues it discusses.

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