Ezekiel J. Emanuel, MD, PhD
Disclaimer: The views expressed are those of the author and do not represent the opinions or policies of the National Institutes of Health or the Department of Health and Human Services.
Potential Financial Conflicts of Interest: None disclosed.
Requests for Single Reprints: Ezekiel J. Emanuel, MD, PhD, Department of Clinical Bioethics, Warren G. Magnuson Clinical Center, National Institutes of Health, Building 10 Room 1C118, Bethesda, MD 20892-1156.
Given the low mortality and morbidity of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) compared with other public health scourges, is the attention devoted to it misdirected? The SARS experience has provided at least 4 enduring lessons. First, by providing a test of the capacity of each part of the public health system, from national to local and hospital responses, it has better prepared the world for the anticipated and much-feared next real pandemic. Second, SARS has reemphasized that from housing, sexual practices, and slaughtering techniques to health care capacity, the situation in other, especially developing, countries affects us. Global cooperation is necessary not only for justice but to ensure our own health. Third, despite trends toward commercialization, easier lives, and self-centered individualism, the response of health care professionals to SARS reaffirmed dedication to caring for the sick even at great personal risks as the core ethical principle of medicine. Finally, SARS also emphasized the importance of the duty of health care administrators and senior physicians to rapidly institute procedures to maximize the safety of frontline physicians and nurses. These lessons will be valuable far beyond the SARS episode.
The In the Clinic® slide sets are owned and copyrighted by the American College of Physicians (ACP). All text, graphics, trademarks, and other intellectual property incorporated into the slide sets remain the sole and exclusive property of the ACP. The slide sets may be used only by the person who downloads or purchases them and only for the purpose of presenting them during not-for-profit educational activities. Users may incorporate the entire slide set or selected individual slides into their own teaching presentations but may not alter the content of the slides in any way or remove the ACP copyright notice. Users may make print copies for use as hand-outs for the audience the user is personally addressing but may not otherwise reproduce or distribute the slides by any means or media, including but not limited to sending them as e-mail attachments, posting them on Internet or Intranet sites, publishing them in meeting proceedings, or making them available for sale or distribution in any unauthorized form, without the express written permission of the ACP. Unauthorized use of the In the Clinic slide sets will constitute copyright infringement.
Emanuel EJ. The Lessons of SARS. Ann Intern Med. ;139:589–591. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-139-7-200310070-00011
Download citation file:
Published: Ann Intern Med. 2003;139(7):589-591.
Ethics, HIV, Hospital Medicine, Infectious Disease.
Results provided by:
Copyright © 2019 American College of Physicians. All Rights Reserved.
Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
Conditions of Use