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Ethics and Floods: A Systematic Review

  • Veselin L. Mitrović (a1), Dónal P. O’Mathúna (a2) and Iskra A. Nola (a3)
  • Please note a correction has been issued for this article.

Disaster ethics is a developing field of inquiry recognizing the wide variety of ethical issues confronting various professionals involved in planning for and responding to different types of disasters. This article explores how ethical issues related to floods are addressed in academic literature. The review involved analysis of publications on ethics and floods identified in a systematic literature search of electronic databases that included sociological, biomedical, and geophysical sources. The review methods were guided by the PRISMA Statement on systematic reviews, adapted to this topic area, and followed by a qualitative analysis of the included publications. All articles were analyzed using NVivo software version 11. The qualitative analysis showed that further research is needed on the ethical issues involved in flood disasters. Ethical guidelines are needed for flood planners and responders that are based on the consistent application of well-established ethical principles, values, and virtues to the specific circumstances arising with each flood. Flexibility is required in applying such approaches. The results suggest that interdisciplinary collaboration (sociological, biomedical, geophysical, engineering, and ethical) could contribute significantly to the development of ethics in floods. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2018;page 1 of 12)

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This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (, which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Corresponding author
Correspondence and reprint requests to Iskra A. Nola, University of Zagreb, School of Medicine, Andrija Stampar School of Public Health, Rockefeller Street 4, Zagreb, Croatia (e-mail:
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Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness
  • ISSN: 1935-7893
  • EISSN: 1938-744X
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