Ethical Challenges in Biodefense

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Ethical Challenges in Biodefense

Meta Description: The threat of a bioterrorist attack is very real and could occur in any country at any time. Today, various governmental agencies in the United States are engaged in biodefense preparedness and response. There is a great need, however, to address ethical challenges in biodefense.

Biological weapons are as old as war itself. The ancient Hittites marched victims of plague into the cities of their enemies; Herodotus described archers firing arrows tipped with manure. By the 20th century, nearly every major nation developed, produced, and even used in battleapanoply of biological weapons including anthrax, plague, and typhoid.

It is difficult to predict when, or even if the United States will be attacked by a bioweapon. In 2010, Congress established the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction, Proliferation, and Terrorism, that predicted that the chances were better than 50-50 that a weapon of mass destruction would be used in a terrorist attack somewhere in the world by 2013.

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