Bioethics Blogs

Introducing New Deliberative Scenario and Facilitator Guide from the Bioethics Commission: “Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Policy for a Local Public Health Department”

The Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues (Bioethics Commission) has released two new educational materials, Deliberative Scenario: Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Policy for a Local Public Health Department and Facilitator Guide for Deliberative Scenario: Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Policy for a Local Public Health Department. This new deliberative scenario and facilitator guide build on the work of two of the Bioethics Commission’s reports, Ethics and Ebola: Public Health Planning and Response (Ethics and Ebola) and Bioethics for Every Generation: Deliberation and Education in Health, Science, and Technology.

This deliberative scenario and facilitator guide draw from contemporary ethical questions, and are designed to provide public health professionals with the tools to integrate bioethics into public health practice. It highlights contemporary ethical questions about policies related to the administration of seasonal influenza vaccinations for employees in local public health departments, and whether or not employees should be required to receive vaccines annually.

This deliberative scenario presents an outline of ethically challenging situations that can be incorporated into deliberation process, and provides an opportunity to practice the method of deliberation decision-making. The Facilitator Guide for Deliberative Scenario: Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Policy for a Local Public Health Department includes specific instructions for facilitating deliberations for the situations outlined in this deliberative scenario.

As outlined in Bioethics for Every Generation, democratic deliberation is a method of decision making that can help groups to identify reasonable options for action when faced with questions or complex topics without a clear consensus about the way forward. This facilitator guide provides public health professionals with specific instructions for facilitating deliberations about a challenging decision and the potential impacts of policy changes on various stakeholders.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.