News of the swine flu outbreak in Mexico, with related cases in the US, Canada, and other countries is capturing international attention. We all hope that this outbreak will be contained quickly, as the SARS outbreak in 2003 was, and that fears of a pandemic will not come to pass.
However, even the possibility raises serious questions for chaplains in any field of health care. Certainly, some experts have been thinking about these questions for years, but from what I can tell, there is far more discussion in medical ethics literature than in pastoral care sources. I appreciate that some colleagues with specialties in disaster care or the military have dealt with these questions. I hope they and others will share their thoughts.