The JCB Working Group also believe that in emergency situations, health providers must provide care because it is the logical consequence of their choice. When health workers choose a profession devoted to care for the ill, they should have assume the risks. In a sense, if a health worker is not prepared to fulfill their duties, he/she should not choose the profession in the first place. • Social contract of the profession
The third argument is similar to the second. However, it is not the assumed responsibilities that are used as a basis of consideration, but the social contract imbedded within the profession. All occupation has a social implication that people must be aware of, and for a health worker, they are perceived as healers that would help people in need. The humanity basis of the argument on the other hand, provides the counter-reasoning of the argument.
The JCB Working Group believes that even health professionals are expected to have minimum self-regard in serving their patients, it is quite unreasonable today to demand health workers to put the lives of their families at high risk while performing their responsibilities, or even more unreasonable to demand health workers to make themselves unavailable to care for their family members should they become ill. The two opposite arguments provide the bottom deck and the ceiling of the extent in which a health worker is expected behave during a disease outbreak.
However, JCB does not provide a clear code of conduct regarding the responsibilities of health workers in a disease outbreak. Instead, they stated that both the educational institutions in which the health professionals are educated and the government & the healthcare sector have their own roles to play in defining such a code of conduct. The Toronto University JCB Working Group suggested the following: 1. Educational institutions should provide a clearer guidance for their students, regarding the mechanism, obligations and expectations of their profession, while facing a communicable disease outbreak.
Once established, those guidance would cover the internal aspect of health workers, in managing themselves within a communicable disease outbreak. 2. Governments and the health sector on the other hand, are responsible to ensure that the external efforts are also as supportive in the effort of caring for people during a communicable disease outbreak, as the internal efforts made. For instance, the government & the health sector should ensure that health workers’ safety should be protected at all times and their extraordinary demands are attended to in anyway possible.
The government & the health sector are also expected to provide full disability insurance and death benefits to the health workers and their families. 3. The third suggestion made is regarding the presence of a comprehensive strategy to face the communicable disease outbreak. The government & the health sector is held accountable for providing a transparent strategy that includes how health professionals are assigned to roles in managing efforts against the disease. Resources provided to support each role must also be provided accordingly. (‘Stand on Guard’, 2005)