Bio-terrorism, bio-defense, bioethics

The terrorist attacks launched on September 11, 2001, ignited fear of further aggression with biological weapons, leading to a discourse and allocation of resources for both defensive and dissuasive/ offensive use in order to counteract such threats. Many such measures involved the investigation and production of biological agents, and the public health field has been called upon to participate in these strategic efforts. Participation by health programs is in moral contradiction with military tactics and should be limited to protecting the health of the purportedly threatened population, in itself a difficult task due to the numerous imponderable factors. The additional resources being made available to public health are largely conditioned on their strategic military application, leaving traditional public health care in its chronic state of insufficient funding and non-egalitarian allocation.

Biological Weapons; Bioethics; Bioterrorism


Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública Sergio Arouca, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz Rua Leopoldo Bulhões, 1480 , 21041-210 Rio de Janeiro RJ Brazil, Tel.:+55 21 2598-2511, Fax: +55 21 2598-2737 / +55 21 2598-2514 - Rio de Janeiro - RJ - Brazil
E-mail: cadernos@ensp.fiocruz.br