FEMA follows strict guidelines when making a major disaster declaration. As a result of these guidelines, a major disaster declaration by FEMA is not available for all terrorist incidents, such as a bioterrorist attack. On the basis of your knowledge on the topic, answer the following question:
- How does FEMA define a major disaster for the purpose of making a declaration? Do you think a major disaster declaration should be available for all disasters? Why or why not?
In a specific disaster scenario, it may be necessary to quarantine patients in an effort to prevent the spread of a contagious disease. However, the decision to quarantine patients and the logistics of implementing quarantine raise several ethical and legal questions. On the basis of your understanding of this topic, answer the following questions:
- What are the ethical issues faced while enacting quarantine?
- What are the legal issues faced while enacting quarantine? Is it ethical to quarantine patients against their will? Why or why not?
EMTALA requires the Medicare-participating hospitals to treat and stabilize all individuals who present themselves for treatment to the emergency department. In times of a disaster, the hospital may become besieged with patients. On the basis of your knowledge on the topic, answer the following questions:
- How does EMTALA apply in disaster situations?
- Should there be any exceptions to EMTALA in a disaster situation? Why or why not?