Decision-making for pandemics: an ethics framework


Australian Health Ethics Committee of the National Health and Medical Research Council,

August 2021,  Download here.

The NHMRC’s Australian Health Ethics Committee (AHEC) has released the final version of Decision-Making for Pandemics: An Ethics Framework.

This document builds upon the experience of COVID-19 to provide guidance for policy decision-making for future pandemics. It consists of an articulation of a set of relevant values and procedural principles, a practical step-by-step framework for decision-making built around a series of questions to guide decision makers, and a set of worked examples that seek to demonstrate how the framework can be used by different groups in society to think through their response to difficult ethical situations that arise during pandemics.

The framework was produced through extensive discussion and consultation with many different stakeholders. The overall structure builds upon previous work on ethics frameworks conducted by Professor Angus Dawson,  Director of Sydney Health Ethics at the University of Sydney. Professor Dawson was heavily involved in the production of this document.