Ethical Challenges in Short-Term Global Health Training

CASE 7: Shifting Resources
Matthew DeCamp, Joce Rodriguez , Gene Richardson, Michele Barry, Jeremy Sugarman

Short-term training programs in global health that take place abroad are frequently complex, collaborative efforts involving sending and host institutions, trainees, sponsors, and local communities. In such circumstances, trainees need to be alert for situations where their presence might change the way local resources are utilized – even if these resources are utilized for otherwise good purposes. We call this situation one of "shifting resources."  This issue arises in a diverse range of circumstances and creates its own set of ethical issues.

Identifying these situations can be difficult; so can their management. This case will introduce trainees to three subtle areas of shifting resources: changing local priorities, requesting care abroad, and the "brain drain".

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© Stanford University Center for Global Health and the Johns Hopkins University Berman Institute of Bioethics.

Project funding provided by Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF)