A global vaccine tax to expand COVAX’s mandate

By Felicitas Holzer, Federico Germani, Ivette Ortiz Alcántara, Julian März & Nikola Biller-Andorno Equal access to vaccines has been one of the key ethical challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. Most scholars consider the massive purchase and hoarding of vaccines by high-income countries, especially at the beginning of the pandemic, to be unjust towards vulnerable people […]

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The discriminatory consequences of the Dobbs decision

By Claire Gothreau, Joona Räsänen, Kasper Lippert-Rasmussen The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the constitutional right to abortion has sparked intense backlash and condemnation from the American public. In the 100 days since the Court’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that overturned Roe v. Wade, total abortion bans that criminalize the […]

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Collateral damage of the Queen’s funeral: The unethical effects of a snap bank holiday

By David Shaw. The Queen’s funeral took place on 19th September 2022, which was declared a bank holiday. As a result, many NHS services were scaled back: hospital appointments were cancelled, operations were delayed, and GP surgeries closed, with several serious effects on patient care. Many NHS trusts cancelled non-emergency operations on the day of […]

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When the rule of rescue fails to rescue

By Kayla Wiebe, Simon Kelley, Roxanne Kirsch An arguably positive accident of the COVID-19 pandemic is that it rejuvenated public, political, and academic interest in the ethical dimensions of resource allocation, with specific focus on how extreme resource shortages (like in triage) exacerbates health inequities. Unfortunately, of far greater significance, are the kinds of exacerbations […]

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Don’t stop now: Continuing global engagement on pandemic policy

By Nancy S. Jecker, Caesar A. Atuire With rare exceptions, many people around the world have gleefully shed masks and with them, any lingering concerns about catching the novel coronavirus. Maskless and nonchalant, we are boarding planes, shopping, showing up at parties, enjoying entertainment, and going to in-person classes. Proof of vaccination has also fallen […]

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The Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) and revised ventilator triage guidance: since we are still implementing outdated and more inequitable frameworks now, will we learn any lessons longer term?

By Harald Schmidt, Dorothy E Roberts,  Amaka D Eneanya Ventilator triage guidance can reduce, maintain, or exacerbate existing social, racial and ethnic health inequities, raising non-trivial legal issues. Over the last 18 months, there has been an intense reckoning with the fact that traditional rationing frameworks focused on maximizing overall benefits tend to worsen Covid-19’s disparate impact on disadvantaged communities of color. Yet, as ICUs […]

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Helping global neighbors during the COVID-19 pandemic

By Nancy S. Jecker, Aaron G. Wightman, Douglas S. Diekema Why should high-income nations help their global neighbors during a pandemic emergency?  If they help, what is a just way to distribute the goods and services they make available?  In “Vaccine Ethics: An Ethical Framework for Global Distribution of COVID-19 Vaccines,” we take up these […]

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Does the public think age matters in COVID-19 triage?

By Margot N I Kuylen On what basis should we allocate resources when resources are scarce? The COVID-19 pandemic has made this complex ethical question extremely salient, as newspapers reported at various points that critical care units across the world were reaching, or even exceeding, their capacity. A wealth of triage guidance has been published […]

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