SciCombinator

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Journal: Ethics, medicine, and public health

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The physical and mental health risks of COVID-19 become higher as people are asked to stay home for an indefinite period. The objective was to investigate the link between the four-factor structure model of coping and mental health among those living in lockdown.

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Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is caused by a beta-coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) that affects the lower respiratory tract and appears as pneumonia in humans. COVID-19 became apparent in December 2019 in Wuhan City of China, and has propagated profusely globally. Despite stringent global quarantine and containment drives, the incidence of COVID-19 keeps soaring high. Measures to minimize human-to-human transmission have been implemented to control the pandemic. However, special efforts to reduce transmission via efficient public health communications and dissemination of risks should be applied in susceptible populations including children, health care providers, and the elderly. In response to this global pandemic, this article summarizes proven strategies that could be employed to combat the COVID-19 disease outbreak, taking a cue from lessons learned from the Ebola virus disease response.

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Killing someone directly is never morally right, but sometimes, choosing someone to save and leaving another to die is. The moral philosophy, law, and medical ethics have all wrestled with the problem of distinguishing between saving someone and leaving another to die. While this distinction might seem intuitively straightforward, it becomes far more complex when applied in treating patients of novel Coronavirus Disease pandemic (COVID-19). The World Health Organization reports more than eight million and half cases of infection and more than 450,000 deaths, 26% in USA. However, with the exponential rise in number of COVID-19 victims and the shortage of life-saving ventilators, the pandemic has imposed to health professionals an ethical medical triage decision-making based on the utilitarian theory to maximize total benefits and life expectancy. Moreover, the decision to put restrictions on treatment beneficence is not discretionary, but an indispensable response to the overwhelming impacts of COVID-19 pandemic. The main concern is not whether to underline priorities, but how to do so systematically and ethically, instead of building decisions on individualized institutional aspirations or health professionals' intuition. The serious glaring disequilibrium, in healthcare market, between supply and demand for scarce medical resources in several developed nations (including the USA, UK, France, Italy, Spain, etc.) imposes a fundamental question: which COVID-19 patient to save when facing scarce resources?

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The 2019 corona virus disease (COVID-19) which outbreak in December 2019, in the Chinese city of Wuhan has became a global threat and is currently the largest known outbreak of atypical pneumonia affecting every continent of the world with about 6,416,828 cases and 382,867 deaths. Disease enforced lockdowns are known to cause heightened levels of depression, anxiety, and stress. Our study aimed to investigate the immediate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic enforced lockdown on mental health and quality of life among general population aged 18 years and to identify various coping strategies used under lockdown. An online survey was conducted between 1st of April-10th of May, 2020; using a validated questionnaire based on DASS-42, employing a snowball sampling technique. A total of 418 responses from 16 different countries were received. The respondents had a high level of depression and anxiety scores, which were significantly different among genders. Also, participants from developing countries-India and Pakistan had severe depression while as participants from India, Pakistan and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia had severe anxiety. We also found that among the various coping strategies, (a) watching television for entertainment, (b) social networking, © listening to music, (d) sleeping, (e) doing mundane house chores like cleaning, washing, etc. (f) eating well, and (g) clearing/finishing thepiled-up work were ranked among the most utilized coping strategies by all participants. This study identifies the need to provide the free professional and psychological services to help cope with stress during the disease-enforced lockdown.

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Recently, for the second phase of prevention of the COVID-19 Pandemic, it is being assumed the use of an app for the prevention of infections COVID-19. The utility of these apps is not yet proven and the apps for COVID-19 contact-tracing probably cannot be used as a preventive tool until the bioethics and legal issues related to their use are resolved.

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We are on the brink of a public health crisis. Science is changing, medicine is evolving, politics are adapting as we are attempting to retain our “normal lives”. The origin of COVID-19 is not exclusively a medical or scientific one. Rather, it lingers more towards damaged public policies with a global pandemic surfacing as merely a consequence of failed economic and health strategies. In this paper we provide a narrative review of the evolution of COVID-19 with emphasis on the its origin and the place of physicians in an ethical perspective.

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The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) will continue to have a significant impact on the way we live for at least the next few years until the scale-up of production and administration of an effective vaccine. Unfortunately, this will not be the last pandemic of infectious diseases the world will experience, and the next one may have more devastating consequences in Africa than COVID-19, unless critical lessons for the future are learnt now for more rapid and robust containment measures. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the viral cause of COVID-19, is thought to have been introduced into the continent by returning travellers from hotspots in Asia, Europe and America. In a pandemic with Africa having relatively lower morbidity and mortality, it is alarming that in about five months since confirmation of the continent’s first case of COVID-19 in Egypt on February 14th, 2020, the infection rate remains at an exponential phase with forty-seven African countries reporting a total of 766,803 cases, 13,191 deaths and 486,925 recoveries as at 31st July, 2020; out of which Nigeria reported 42,689 cases, 878 deaths and 19,290 recoveries, with Lagos State accounting for close to half of all cases in Nigeria. Importantly, lessons learnt during the Ebola epidemic have had a significant impact on Nigeria’s COVID-19 response. In this article, we discuss Nigeria’s response, health system preparedness and the lessons that are critical for containment of future outbreaks, epidemics or pandemics of any infectious disease in Africa.

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Premature discussions of patients' rights or duties to death must be put aside to focus first on whether death injures the patient who dies. Comparativism argues that dying does have impact on this individual, then it may alter our arguments on duties or rights to die, as well as on how and whether we should make end of life decisions for others. If Comparativism is correct, then there are large ramifications for ethics, medicine, and public health. Unfortunately for Comparativism, its incorporation of intuitions and possible worlds gives it the same undermining biased world problem encountered by Moore’s isolation test for intrinsic value. Imagining/referring to a possible world whilst in this one merely creates the illusion that a decedent’s death can benefit or injure her. When we select possible worlds or fill in their missing states of affairs, we can often impose our own biases into the thought experiment. Thinking about fictions is useful in figuring out what we should do and be, as well as evaluating what others did and were, but medical practice and policy affecting end of life issues in bioethics should always be based on reality and not subjective partiality.

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This paper examines the impact of the exceptional events of the 2020 pandemic and the government containment responses it triggered on two ethical issues that arose before the virus took its toll. These two questions - chosen among others - were those of the unity of the medical ethics and of the specific nature of the pharmacist’s ethics. The answers to these questions were deeply changed in meaning and value after the events we experienced. When reality intrudes, it does not only change practices but it equally changes theory. The questions formerly asked continue to be asked, but a certain number of solutions have been discredited among those that we thought should be taken into account: a certain bureaucracy, in one case, to resolve illusory questions of ethical efficiency; a vague metaphysics of morals in the other, to believe that the distinction between a drug and a commodity can be fulfilled cheaply. A reading of Kierkegaard appeared to us like a salutary issue in the first case; whereas ethical and political research about pharmaceutical matters seemed to be absolutely urgent to our eyes, in the second case.

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The question of the meaning of life arises as much for the young as for the old, as soon as they experience their finitude through some experience of death. To explore the issue in retrospect, let’s look at death and suicide at different scales. If we were to compare suicide to one of the cell deaths, perhaps we would compare it to apoptosis as performed by the cell itself. At the animal level, survival follows the law of the strongest or the most intelligent. On an anthropological scale, civilizations survive in the illusion of their immortality. It is certain that suicide is a most intimate act and can, in this respect, be considered an act of freedom since it relieves the body’s perception of any physical law, perception being abolished by death. The fascination for suicide is based on an intellectual exploration, a search for an absolute answer in opposition to all relativism, which paradoxically will take shape in annihilation. In times of pandemic and confinement, humanity experiences its finiteness. Confinement has re-installed a sense of loneliness in a society that lives on constant hyper-communication. In this text, the author demonstrates that suicide must be avoided because it is nonsense for both the individual and the community. Thus, living with disability as well as old age should be valued more highly, and public health policies against the causes leading to suicide should become state priorities. Finally, far from pathologizing suicide, the question of legally recognizing the right to (unassisted) suicide for those who commit it must be asked.