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Hydroxychloroquine and COVID-19: critiquing the impact of disease public profile on policy and clinical decision-making

Journal Article


Abstract


  • The controversy surrounding the use of

    hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), an antimalarial drug, for

    COVID-19 has raised numerous ethical and policy

    problems. Since the suggestion that HCQ has potential

    for COVID-19, there have been varying responses from

    clinicians and healthcare institutions, ranging from

    adoption of protocols using HCQ for routine care to the

    conduct of randomised controlled trials to an effective

    system-wide prohibition on its use for COVID-19.

    In this article, we argue that the concept of ’disease

    public profile’ has become a prominent, if not the sole,

    determinant in decision-making across various healthcare

    responses to the pandemic. In the case of COVID-19,

    the disease’s public profile is based on clinical and

    non-clinical factors that include contagiousness, clinical

    presentation and media coverage. In particular, we briefly

    examine the dangers of a heightened public profile in

    magnifying the inequality of diseases and undermining

    three key ethical concepts, namely (1) evidence-based

    practice, (2) sustainable allocation and (3) meaningful

    consent.

Publication Date


  • 2020

Citation


  • Aquino, Y. & Cabrera, N. (2020). Hydroxychloroquine and COVID-19: critiquing the impact of disease public profile on policy and clinical decision-making. Journal of Medical Ethics, Online First 106306-1-106306-5.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-85088528156

Start Page


  • 106306-1

End Page


  • 106306-5

Volume


  • Online First

Place Of Publication


  • United Kingdom

Abstract


  • The controversy surrounding the use of

    hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), an antimalarial drug, for

    COVID-19 has raised numerous ethical and policy

    problems. Since the suggestion that HCQ has potential

    for COVID-19, there have been varying responses from

    clinicians and healthcare institutions, ranging from

    adoption of protocols using HCQ for routine care to the

    conduct of randomised controlled trials to an effective

    system-wide prohibition on its use for COVID-19.

    In this article, we argue that the concept of ’disease

    public profile’ has become a prominent, if not the sole,

    determinant in decision-making across various healthcare

    responses to the pandemic. In the case of COVID-19,

    the disease’s public profile is based on clinical and

    non-clinical factors that include contagiousness, clinical

    presentation and media coverage. In particular, we briefly

    examine the dangers of a heightened public profile in

    magnifying the inequality of diseases and undermining

    three key ethical concepts, namely (1) evidence-based

    practice, (2) sustainable allocation and (3) meaningful

    consent.

Publication Date


  • 2020

Citation


  • Aquino, Y. & Cabrera, N. (2020). Hydroxychloroquine and COVID-19: critiquing the impact of disease public profile on policy and clinical decision-making. Journal of Medical Ethics, Online First 106306-1-106306-5.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-85088528156

Start Page


  • 106306-1

End Page


  • 106306-5

Volume


  • Online First

Place Of Publication


  • United Kingdom