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Antibiotic resistance: An ethical challenge
Univ Kiel, Inst Expt Med, Div Biomed Eth, D-24105 Kiel, Germany..
Univ Kiel, Inst Expt Med, Div Biomed Eth, D-24105 Kiel, Germany..
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Infectious Diseases.
2015 (English)In: International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents, ISSN 0924-8579, E-ISSN 1872-7913, Vol. 46, no 4, 359-361 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this paper, we argue that antibiotic resistance (ABR) raises a number of ethical problems that have not yet been sufficiently addressed. We outline four areas in which ethical issues that arise in relation to ABR are particularly pressing. First, the emergence of multidrug-resistant and extensively drug-resistant infections exacerbates traditional ethical challenges of infectious disease control, such as the restriction of individual liberty for the protection of the public's health. Second, ABR raises issues of global distributive justice, both with regard to the overuse and lack of access to antibiotics. Third, the use of antibiotics in veterinary medicine raises serious concerns for animal welfare and sustainable farming practices. Finally, the diminishing effectiveness of antibiotics leads to questions about intergenerational justice and our responsibility for the wellbeing of future generations. We suggest that current policy discussions should take ethical conflicts into account and engage openly with the challenges that we outline in this paper.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 46, no 4, 359-361 p.
Keyword [en]
Antibiotic resistance, Ethics, Distributive justice, Health policy
National Category
Microbiology in the medical area
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-267320DOI: 10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2015.06.010ISI: 000363491200001PubMedID: 26242553OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-267320DiVA: diva2:873676
Available from: 2015-11-24 Created: 2015-11-20 Last updated: 2015-11-24Bibliographically approved

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