Emerging ethical and human rights issues in the treatment and prevention of the global tuberculosis epidemic

Introduction :

The planned workshop on tuberculosis, ethics and human rights aims to highlight emerging ethical and legal dilemmas in the treatment and prevention of the global Tuberculosis (TB) epidemic in order to identify policy gaps, elaborate a human rights-based approach and inform the research agenda for future policy updates in the management of TB.

The management of TB differs from country to country, while the TB problem is a global one and human rights and ethical standards apply universally. Therefore, a greater common effort needs to be undertaken in order to promote reflection and strengthen global collaboration in this domain.

A central objective of the intended workshop is to afford participants from different countries the opportunity of sharing best practices and discussing ways of solving the emerging human rights and ethical problems related to the management of TB and the increasing public health risk of antimicrobial resistance. Further, two major objectives will guide the workshop: 1) to discuss the content and application of ethical guidelines in TB management 2) to discuss the content, interpretation and application of human rights at stake in the global management of TB and formulate recommendations applicable for the management of TB.

The workshop will be conceived as a platform for cross-border and interdisciplinary knowledge exchange, with the aim to bridge policy gaps by formulating recommendations for the management of TB and more precisely for the management of emerging issues in relation to the multi-drug resistant (MDR-TB) and extensively drug resistant (XDR-TB) forms of TB. The starting-point of the exchange will be the document published by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2010 under the title “Guidance on ethics of tuberculosis prevention, care and control” . The guidelines will be appraised and discussed in the light of a human rights approach. Therefore we will invite a multi-disciplinary group of experts from all relevant areas: lawyers, ethicists, medical scientists, philosophers, policy-makers, NGO-workers and staff from WHO and other international organizations.

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