Connecting the Dots: COVID-19, BAME Communities, and Racial Injustice

By Aileen Editha The COVID-19 pandemic impacted England (and the world) in ways that no one could have imagined. One that is incredibly disappointing, however, is the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities in terms of exposure and mortality rates, as well as the recent data on vaccination […]

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Is it irrational not to have a plan? Should there have been national guidance on rationing in the NHS?

By Dominic Wilkinson and Jonathan Pugh. Last April, in the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of academics, lawyers, doctors and ethicists wrote publicly about the need for national ethical guidance relating to resource allocation (e.g., see here, here, here). At the time there was concern that there would be insufficient intensive care […]

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Discrimination on the basis of vaccination status (is inherently wrong)

By Michael Kowalik. The worldwide spread of SARS-CoV-2 has re-invigorated the debate about the ethical permissibility of vaccine mandates and immunity certification. Public attitudes towards this complex issue are nevertheless dominated by fear, half-truths and ungrounded value-judgements, limiting the scope of rational deliberation in favour of ideological partisanship. My paper, ‘Ethics of Vaccine Refusal’, is […]

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Self-experimentation with vaccines

By Jonathan Pugh, Dominic Wilkinson and Julian Savulescu. A group of citizen scientists has launched a non-profit, non-commercial organisation named ‘RaDVaC’, which aims to rapidly develop, produce, and self-administer an intranasally delivered COVID-19 vaccine. As an open source project, a white paper detailing RaDVaC’s vaccine rationale, design, materials, protocols, and testing is freely available online. […]

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How to ethically conduct research with Black populations at the intersection of COVID-19 and Black lives matter

By Natasha Crooks, Geri Donenberg, Alicia Matthews. For months now, we have been asking ourselves if it is appropriate to engage populations in research who are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and continuously being murdered by institutions (i.e., government, police, hospitals) that are supposed to be protecting them. The current societal context suggests Black lives are […]

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Dialyzing the discourse: a response to Rohrig and Manheim

By Hayden P. Nix and Charles Weijer In a recent blog post, we sought to answer the narrow question: is altruistic kidney donation sufficiently analogous to participation in a SARS-CoV-2 challenge study to justify the risks of SARS-CoV-2 challenge studies? We argued that three morally relevant differences (the risk of adverse effects, the availability of […]

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Clinical ethics support: Addressing legal uncertainties

By Joe Brierley, David Archard and Emma Cave. Clinical ethics support has adapted to embrace patient-centred care, to help clarify ethical matters in patient care and to occasionally help resolve disputes without recourse to the courts. The pace of change and, indeed, the sheer number of clinical ethics committees accelerated during the first wave of […]

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The ethics of age-selective restrictions for COVID-19 control

By Bridget Williams, James Cameron, James Trauer, Ben Marais, Romain Ragonnet and Julian Savulescu. One of the major controversies of the COVID-19 pandemic has been disagreement about whether age-selective measures should be introduced, with greater focus on preventing infection in older people but tolerance of some transmission amongst younger people. Some have advocated a path […]

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Altered vaccination schedules and informed consent

By Jennifer O’Neill. According to the General Medical Council (GMC) publication Good Medical Practice, medical treatments should be provided “…based on the best available evidence” with a favourable balance between benefit and risk. Legal principles of informed consent and shared decision-making recognise the patient’s right to be informed of the risk-benefit profile of a treatment […]

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