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ADA council addresses ethics of measles crisis

Dentists should have policies in place that allow for the treatment of all patients, including those who are unvaccinated, amid the growing measles outbreak in the U.S., according to the American Dental Association Council on Ethics, Bylaws and Judicial Affairs.

The council recently released a statement offering guidelines to dentists on dealing with the complicated ethics of the outbreak.

“There really are critical ethical issues that dental providers need to consider,” said Dr. James A. Smith, council chair. “A provider may think, ‘Well, I just won’t see anyone who’s not vaccinated or if anyone chooses not to be vaccinated,’ or they might have questions such as, ‘How do I do this? Do I put my other patients at risk if I allow people who are not vaccinated into my practice?’ There are a lot of questions, and it’s a complex issue. Our council wanted to provide some guidance and considerations in the face of the measles outbreak.”