[BP#4] Doctors Brace for Zika Babies

NyTimes Article (<- Click, alternatively link will be provided at the end)



This article is written about the ever growing concerns of the Zika virus and the effect of the virus on developing children. More specifically, the first group of Zika babies will be born in Puerto Rico. According to the article, the Zika virus attacks the development of the early brain, and can lead to a child being born with microcephaly. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) received a $350,000 grant from the Department of Health and Human Services to create a network of pediatricians ready to deal with Zika babies and their related problems.

Ethical Analysis

As we all know, a profession is characterized by three things. Firstly, they are characterized by extensive training. Any job in the medical field requires extensive training on various kinds of diseases, infections, etc., qualifying this for the first requirement.

The second characteristic is that it must have a high  intellectual component, which can sometimes be broken down into two types of intellectual components. The know how, or the practical skill, and the know that, or the knowledge of facts and norms. Most professions focus more on the know that than the know how.

The last characteristic, the profession must provide an important service to society. As we know (and all agree) doctors provide a major service to society. They are the people we turn to when we get sick, when a pandemic breaks out, or when we can’t shoot something to make it stop. Having a career as a doctor is seen as one of the most prestigious careers a person can have. (Advocacy for stem?)

What does this have to do with the article? The article states “Pediatricians do not know what to expect”. We revere doctors, but we forget that there are things they do not know as well. Some would argue that it is unethical as a professional to openly say that you do not know how to solve a major issue, such as the Zika virus. I, on the other hand, would argue that it is more ethical to inform the public of uncertainties within a field of study. In a medical profession, there is much that is still unknown. Pediatricians and doctors alike may have a large knowledge base, but the knowledge that they do not have is even larger.


  1. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/26/well/family/doctors-brace-for-zika-babies.html?rref=collection%2Fselectioncollection%2Fhealth&_r=0

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