Legal and ethical aspects of disaster management

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Title

Disaster health management: A primer for students and practitioners


Routledge / Taylor & Francis

Place of Publication

Abingdon, Oxon


Fitzgerald, G., Tarrant, M., Aitken, P. & Fredriksen, M.


School of Medical and Health Sciences




McDonald, F., Eburn, M., & Smith, E. (2016). Legal and ehtical aspects of disaster management. In G. Fitzgerald, M. Tarrant, P. Aitken & M. Fredriksen (Eds.), Disaster health management: A primer for students and practitioners (pp. 58-69). Routledge. Available here


Law and ethics have an important role to play in emergency management. In addition to coordinating functions, legal frameworks at the international, national and sub-national level provide a framework establishing who can lawfully act, what can and cannot be lawfully done, and the manner in which actions should be taken. Law also plays an important role in specifying that in the midst of an emergency situation, the vulnerable should be protected, and human rights respected. With a foundation of respect for the dignity of individuals and communities, ethics is as equally important as ethics and morality inform decision-making around what should be done and the manner in which it should be done.

Access Rights

subscription content