[Ethically responsible care for MDRO carriers]
SourceNederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde, 164, (2020), article D4286
Article / Letter to editor
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Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde
SubjectRadboudumc 18: Healthcare improvement science RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences; Radboudumc 4: lnfectious Diseases and Global Health RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences
Dutch healthcare institutions are relatively successful in preventing outbreaks of antibiotic-resistant pathogens, thus protecting vulnerable patients. However, measures taken to prevent the introduction and spread of MDROs can be burdensome for asymptomatic carriers of such bacteria or for people who may have been exposed to them. This leads to ethical dilemmas. On the basis of a study of the impact of being a carrier and precautionary measures on carrier well-being, we present an ethical framework for responsible care for carriers. We argue that solidarity requires that the burden of prevention and control of resistance is to be shouldered by society as a whole. It is not right to see this problem primarily as a conflict between the protection of vulnerable patients on the one hand and carriers on the other.
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