In May 2011, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention launched a campaign to equip the public to deal with a zombie apocalypse as a creative way to engage public health preparedness and response. Perhaps this comes to us as no surprise; the undead have been seen time and again right here in Atlanta thanks to the award-winning hit television series The Walking Dead that is filmed in these parts. Not to be alarming, but it must be said that a number of the Center of Ethics folks have been bitten by the zombie bug. Happily, none of them have “turned,” but some of their research interests have . . .

Thoughts of a zombie apocalypse stir the re-framing of a number of ethical questions that are regularly addressed and debated at the Center within the more familiar contexts of medicine, public health, religion, and neuroscience. Why bother being “good” when the end is near? When is a human being no longer a person? Does it all come down to the brain? What is free will? How should healthcare resources be allocated when pandemics hit? What does end-of-life care look like for those for whom biological death is not the end? How does the zombie genre help us to think about disability?

Let the contagion begin!



 Cory still

Cory Andrew Labrecque, PhD
Raymond F. Schinazi Scholar in Bioethics and Religious Thought                     
Emory University Center for Ethics
(404) 727-1208



Karen S. Rommelfanger, PhDKaren still
Neuroethics Program Director
Emory University Center for Ethics
(404) 727-1150




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