By Aisling McMahon Recent moves such as by the United States and United Kingdom to negotiate deals to access large quantities of vaccines/medicines for Covid-19 within their territories raise serious questions around access to healthcare and global equitable distribution. Such attempts to secure preferential access, although understandable within the national context, can jeopardise supplies of […]
Category: Journal of Medical Ethics
We need to talk about corona apps
By Lucie White. The initial hype about a digital contact tracing app that could control the COVID-19 outbreak until an effective vaccine or treatment can be found has died down – governments are downplaying the potential of what was initially sold as a crucial means of escaping lockdown. At the same time, many countries are […]
Good Reasons to Vaccinate: COVID19 Vaccine, Mandatory or Payment Model?
By Julian Savulescu. The best chance of bringing the Coronavirus pandemic to an end with the least loss of life and the greatest return to normality seems to be the introduction of an effective vaccine. But how should such a vaccine be distributed? To be effective, particularly in protecting the most vulnerable in the population, […]
Government-Sanctioned Health Care Discrimination During a Pandemic: Legally Nonsensical and Morally Bereft
By Charles Binkley and David S. Kemp The Trump administration recently announced a rule change that would effectively remove nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people in health care and health insurance. Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) prohibits discrimination in the provision of health care on the basis of “race, color, national origin, sex, […]
It’s not catastrophizing if it’s a catastrophe: lessons from the pandemic for psychotherapy.
By Sahanika Ratnayake The pandemic seems to have shaken the orthodox understanding of mental health. Instead of seeing mental illnesses — such as depression and anxiety — or psychological distress as being based primarily in the individual and their various patterns of thoughts, behaviours and emotions (the approach favoured by the DSM), the pandemic exposed […]
Why “human challenge” vaccine trials for COVID-19 are morally permissible, but only if we lock down, test, and contact-trace properly
By Ben Bramble We urgently need a vaccine for COVID-19, in order to fully end our lockdowns. The trouble is such vaccines usually take years to develop and test for efficacy and safety. Recently, a number of bioethicists have proposed “human challenge” vaccine trials to speed up the testing process. These involve volunteers receiving a […]
Finding a vaccine against the novel coronavirus: why challenge trials can be ethical even when a lot remains unknown
By Robert Steel, Lara Buchak, Nir Eyal Multiple authors believe that the development of coronavirus vaccines could be substantially accelerated through the use of challenge trials, in which participants are deliberately exposed to the virus. The tremendous loss of life and health and significant social and economic upheaval from ongoing worldwide pandemic make acceleration of […]
Utilizing parents to hand-bag ventilate when resources are scarce: Is it ethical?
By Emily E. Barsky and Sadath Sayeed Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, many nations are coping with what resource limited settings are all too familiar with—ventilator scarcity. In low-income countries, people— and particularly children— frequently die of reversible, acute respiratory failure due to across-the-board resource scarcity. Some such settings have responded to this by allowing parents […]
COVID-19 is a wake-up call for ethical health communication
By Jamie Carlin Watson Increased understanding of social determinants of health and health literacy have expanded the responsibilities of the medical community from patients in the clinic to citizens at increased health risks. Fulfilling these responsibilities involves, in part, distributing timely and accurate health information that is accessible, understandable, and usable. Though increased commitment to […]
Surgery in COVID-19 Crisis Conditions: Can We Protect Our Ethical Integrity Against the Odds?
By J Macleod, S Mezher and R Hasan Since the dawn of the COVID-19 crisis, drastic changes have swept across many organisations. Healthcare providers are particularly affected by this; which we have experienced first-hand working in cardiac surgery. Working in this constantly evolving situation inevitably leads to uncertainty, inconsistency and even fear despite the best […]