© 2014

Disaster Bioethics: Normative Issues When Nothing is Normal

Normative Issues When Nothing is Normal

  • Dónal P. O’Mathúna
  • Bert Gordijn
  • Mike Clarke

Part of the Public Health Ethics Analysis book series (PHES, volume 2)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-viii
  2. Healthcare Ethics and Disasters

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Dónal P. O’Mathúna, Bert Gordijn, Mike Clarke
      Pages 3-12
    3. Henk Ten Have
      Pages 13-32
    4. Lisa Schwartz, Matthew Hunt, Lynda Redwood-Campbell, Sonya de Laat
      Pages 33-48
    5. Y. Michael Barilan, Margherita Brusa, Pinchas Halperin
      Pages 49-63
    6. Aasim Ahmad, Syed Mamun Mahmud, Dónal P. O’Mathúna
      Pages 95-106
  3. Research Ethics and Disasters

  4. Back Matter
    Pages 205-219

About this book


This book provides an early exploration of the new field of disaster bioethics:

examining the ethical issues raised by disasters. Healthcare ethics issues are addressed in the first part of this book. Large-scale casualties lead to decisions about who to treat and who to leave behind, cultural challenges, and communication ethics. The second part focuses on disaster research ethics.

With the growing awareness of the need for evidence to guide disaster preparedness and response, more research is being conducted in disasters. Any research involving humans raises ethical questions and requires appropriate regulation and oversight. The authors explore how disaster research can take account of survivors? vulnerability, informed consent, the sudden onset of disasters, and other ethical issues. Both parts examine ethical challenges where seeking to do good, harm can be done. Faced with overwhelming needs and scarce resources, no good solution may be apparent. But choosing the less wrong option can have a high price. In addition, what might seem right at home may not be seen to be right elsewhere. This book provides in-depth and practical reflection on these and other challenging ethical questions arising during disasters.

Scholars and practitioners who gathered at the Brocher Foundation in Geneva, Switzerland in 2011 offer their reflections to promote further dialogue so that those devastated by disasters are respected by being treated in the most ethically sou

nd ways possible.




Disaster Bioethics Disaster research Ethical responsibilities of the media Ethics in training professionals Evidence Global Pandemics Healtcare in disasters Healthcare Macro-Triage Research ethics micro-triage

Editors and affiliations

  • Dónal P. O’Mathúna
    • 1
  • Bert Gordijn
    • 2
  • Mike Clarke
    • 3
  1. 1.Dublin City UniversityDublinIreland
  2. 2.Dublin City UniversityDublinIreland
  3. 3.Queen’s University BelfastBelfastIreland

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Disaster Bioethics: Normative Issues When Nothing is Normal
  • Book Subtitle Normative Issues When Nothing is Normal
  • Editors Dónal P. O’Mathúna
    Bert Gordijn
    Mike Clarke
  • Series Title Public Health Ethics Analysis
  • Series Abbreviated Title Public Health Ethics
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Humanities, Social Sciences and Law Philosophy and Religion (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-94-007-3863-8
  • Softcover ISBN 978-94-017-7845-9
  • eBook ISBN 978-94-007-3864-5
  • Series ISSN 2211-6680
  • Series E-ISSN 2211-6699
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages VIII, 219
  • Number of Illustrations 5 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Ethics
    Social Sciences, general
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
Industry Sectors
Finance, Business & Banking


“This edited volume brings together an interdisciplinary array of scholars from around the world to discuss disaster bioethics. … book offers an insightful examination of some neglected topics within the larger study of disasters that warrant inquiry. … Disaster Bioethics is a much needed contribution to a field that struggles with how to carry out research in extreme situations. It should be read, at the very least, by any scholar or practitioner who wishes to conduct fieldwork in disaster research.” (Nathalie Baker, Natural Hazards Observer, Vol. 39 (6), July, 2015)

“The book is comprised of 13 chapters … contributed by individual authors and divided into two sections. … It will serve to shape and focus future research and debate. … This is a volume that will be of value to those interested in exploring the acceptable ethical bounds of conduct during times of disaster. Such individuals should include not only ethicists but also public health professionals, humanitarian aid workers, and academics who might conduct research in a disaster setting.” (James D. Hearn, Bioethical Inquiry, Vol. 12, 2015)