Ethox Seminar: The Ethics of AMR Carriership

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Many countries have specific AMR prevention guidelines, such as zero-tolerance policies, in order to prevent further introduction and spread of AMR. These guidelines may in many ways affect the lives and well-being of carriers of antimicrobial resistant pathogens, resulting in complex ethical dilemmas that often remain largely implicit in practice. In this presentation I present and discuss three ethical issues that arise from AMR carriership in the face of such prevention guidelines: First, how should the impact of AMR control measures, such as isolation and mandatory eradication treatments, on the well-being of individual carriers be conceptualized? Second, if AMR control measures should adhere to the principle of the least restrictive means, how should this principle be interpreted? And, thirdly, if AMR control measures should be relaxed because of their adverse impact on the well-being of individual carriers, how can a particular level of acceptable risk for the further spread of AMR be identified and ethically justified?