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Precautionary Principle and Public Health Richard Schabas MOH Hastings and Prince Edward Counties December 6, 2007
“the precautionary principle, which states that action to reduce risk need not await scientific certainty, be expressly adopted as a guiding principle…” Campbell
“the precautionary principle, which states that action to reduce risk need not await science, be expressly adopted as a guiding principle…” Campbell ( revised by Schabas )
Precautionary Principle Paradox
Examples NABH surrogate testing (1986) Thimerosol in vaccines (2007) N95 masks for pandemic influenza (20??) Pandemic prevention (1976)
Precautionary Principle Antiscientific Unethical Not useful
Blood Screening – Key Issues Effectiveness of surrogate testing uncertain NAB hepatitis not considered serious Blood supply inadequate
Blood Screening – Key Issues Effectiveness of surrogate testing uncertain Surrogate testing effective NAB hepatitis not considered serious HCV hepatitis very serious Blood supply inadequate for future needs Blood supply adequate
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