• Providing Ethical Healthcare in Resource-Poor Environments

      Iserson, Kenneth V; Univ Arizona, Dept Emergency Med (SPRINGER, 2018-01-19)
      The ethics of providing health care in resource-poor environments is a complex topic. It implies two related questions: What can we do with the resources on hand? Of all the things we can do, which ones should we do? "Resource-poor" (i.e., resource-challenged, resource-constrained) environments are situations in which clinicians, organizations, or healthcare systems have the knowledge and skills, but not the means, to carry out highly effective and beneficial interventions. Determinants of a population's health often rely less on disease and injury management than on recognizing and meeting their basic needs. Many of the world's people with the greatest health problems live in fragile contexts and remote areas. Their access to food, safe water, personal safety, improved sanitation facilities, and health care remains elusive, with availability often based on socioeconomic status, gender, ethnicity, or geography. Of course, ethical international healthcare work also requires an understanding of the illnesses and injuries that most frequently plague the population. To function ethically and to know both what can and what should be done with available resources, individuals and organizations involved in international healthcare must be experienced, adaptable, culturally sensitive, inspired, situationally aware, beneficent, courageous, honest, and fair.