Black bodies and Bioethics: Debunking Mythologies of Benevolence and Beneficence in Contemporary Indigenous Health Research in Colonial Australia
AbstractWe seek to bring Black bodies and lives into full view within the enterprise of Indigenous health research to interrogate the unquestioned good that is taken to characterize contemporary Indigenous health research. We articulate a Black bioethics that is not premised upon a false logic of beneficence, rather we think through a Black bioethics premised upon an unconditional love for the Black body. We achieve this by examining the accounts of two Black mothers, fictional and factual rendering visible the racial violence Black bodies have been subjected to. We call for a Black bioethics that reimagines the Black body...
Source: Journal of Bioethical Inquiry - January 14, 2021 Category: Medical Ethics Source Type: research

Addressing Structural Racism Through Constitutional Transformation and Decolonization: Insights for the New Zealand Health Sector
AbstractIn colonial states and settings, constitutional arrangements are often forged within contexts that serve to maintain structural racism against Indigenous people. In 2013 the New Zealand government initiated national conversations about the constitutional arrangements in Aotearoa. M āori (Indigenous) leadership preceded this, initiating a comprehensive engagement process among Māori in 2010, which resulted in a report by Matike Mai Aotearoa which articulated a collective Māori vision of a written constitution congruent withte Tiriti o Waitangi (the founding document of the colonial state of New Zealand) by 2040.T...
Source: Journal of Bioethical Inquiry - January 11, 2021 Category: Medical Ethics Source Type: research

Bioethics, Race, and Contempt
AbstractThe U.S. healthcare system has a long history of displaying racist contempt toward Black people. From medical schools ’ use of enslaved bodies as cadavers to the widespread hospital practice of reporting suspected drug users who seek medical help to the police, the institutional practices and policies that have shaped U.S. healthcare systems as we know them cannot be minimized as coincidence. Rather, the very fou ndations of medical discovery, diagnosis, and treatment are built on racist contempt for Black people and have become self-perpetuating. Yet, I argue that bioethics and bioethicists have a role in co...
Source: Journal of Bioethical Inquiry - January 7, 2021 Category: Medical Ethics Source Type: research

The Role of Emotion in Understanding Whiteness
AbstractThis paper argues that stoicism as a central element of whiteness shapes, controls, and ultimately limits the experience and expression of emotion in public space. I explore how this may play out in particular medical settings like hospitals in Aotearoa New Zealand. I argue that working in conjunction with other values of whiteness identified by Myser (2003) —hyper-individualism, a contractual view of relationships, and an emphasis on personal control and autonomy—this makes hospitals emotionally unsafe spaces for Māori and other groups who place high importance in the collective sharing of emotion. Us...
Source: Journal of Bioethical Inquiry - January 7, 2021 Category: Medical Ethics Source Type: research

Teasing out Artificial Intelligence in Medicine: An Ethical Critique of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in Medicine
AbstractThe rapid adoption and implementation of artificial intelligence in medicine creates an ontologically distinct situation from prior care models. There are both potential advantages and disadvantages with such technology in advancing the interests of patients, with resultant ontological and epistemic concerns for physicians and patients relating to the instatiation of AI as a dependent, semi- or fully-autonomous agent in the encounter. The concept of libertarian paternalism potentially exercised by AI (and those who control it) has created challenges to conventional assessments of patient and physician autonomy. The...
Source: Journal of Bioethical Inquiry - January 7, 2021 Category: Medical Ethics Source Type: research

Bioethicists Should Be Helping Scientists Think About Race
AbstractIn this essay, I argue that bioethicists have a thus-far unfulfilled role to play in helping life scientists, including medical doctors and researchers, think about race. I begin with descriptions of how life scientists tend to think about race and descriptions of typical approaches to bioethics. I then describe three different approaches to race: biological race, race as social construction, and race as cultural driver of history. Taking into account the historical and contemporary interplay of these three approaches, I suggest an alternative framework for thinking about race focused on how the idea of race functi...
Source: Journal of Bioethical Inquiry - January 7, 2021 Category: Medical Ethics Source Type: research

We ’re in This Together: A Reflection on How Bioethics and Public Health Can Collectively Advance Scientific Efforts Towards Addressing Racism
AbstractRacism is a key driver of the social, political, and economic injustices that cause and maintain health inequities. Over centuries and across continents, racism has become deeply ingrained within societies. Therefore, we believe that it is our professional and ethical obligation as scientists, and public health scholars specifically, to address racism head on in order to ameliorate racialized health disparities. We argue that greater focus is needed on addressingracism rather thanrace and how race is described or defined. We offer input from public health scholarship to help bioethicists and other scientists contri...
Source: Journal of Bioethical Inquiry - January 7, 2021 Category: Medical Ethics Source Type: research

Race, Reproduction, and Biopolitics: A Review Essay
AbstractThis review essay critically examines Catherine Mills ’sBiopolitics (2018) and Camisha Russell ’sThe Assisted Reproduction of Race (2018). Although distinct works, the centrality of race and reproduction provides a point of connection and an opening into reframing contemporary debates within bioethicsand biopolitics. In reviewing these books together I hope to show how biopolitical theory and critical philosophy of race can be useful in looking at bioethical problems from a new perspective that open up different kinds of analyses, especially around historically embedded problems like institutional racis...
Source: Journal of Bioethical Inquiry - January 6, 2021 Category: Medical Ethics Source Type: research

Conflicts of Interest Result From Relationships But Are Not Resolved by Preventing Relationships
AbstractGoldberg notes that the relationship is a component of Conflicts of Interests (COIs). Networks of relationships and the simultaneous presence of several interests are not negative per se but become so when they generate a conflict that undermines impartiality. The solution to the problem of COIs, therefore, cannot be to abolish relationships and the interests that they necessarily express but rather to verify whether those relationships are such as to unduly affect an individual ’s judgement. The evolution of an Italian legislation about COIs is eloquent in this regard. (Source: Journal of Bioethical Inquiry)
Source: Journal of Bioethical Inquiry - January 6, 2021 Category: Medical Ethics Source Type: research

Reply to: Beyond Money: Conscientious Objection in Medicine as a Conflict of Interests
AbstractGiubilini and Savulescu in their recentJournal of Bioethical Inquiry symposium article presented an account of conscientious objection that argues for its recognition as a non-financial conflict of interest. In this short commentary, I highlight some problems with their account. First, I discuss their solicitor analogy. Second, I discuss some problems surrounding their objectivity claim about standards of medical care. Next, I discuss some issues arising from consistently applying their approach. Finally, I highlight that conscientious objection should be viewed not as a conflict of interest but as something that s...
Source: Journal of Bioethical Inquiry - January 6, 2021 Category: Medical Ethics Source Type: research

Medical Mistrust and Enduring Racism in South Africa
AbstractIn this essay, I argue that exploring institutional racism also needs to examine interactions and communications between patients and providers. Exchange between bioethicists, social scientists, and life scientists should emphasize the biological effects —made evident through health disparities—ofracism. I discuss this through examples of patient –provider communication in fertility clinics in South Africa and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic to emphasize the issue of mistrust between patients and medical institutions. Health disparities and medical mistrust are interrelated problems of racism in hea...
Source: Journal of Bioethical Inquiry - January 5, 2021 Category: Medical Ethics Source Type: research

In Defence of Forgetting Evil: A Reply to Pilkington on Conscientious Objection
AbstractIn a recent article for this journal, Bryan Pilkington (2019) makes a number of critical observations about one of our arguments for non-traditional medical conscientious objectors ’ duty to refer. Non-traditional conscientious objectors are those professionals who object to indirectly performing actions—like, say, referring to a physician who will perform an abortion. In our response here, we discuss his central objection and clarify our position on the role of value conf licts in non-traditional conscientious objection. (Source: Journal of Bioethical Inquiry)
Source: Journal of Bioethical Inquiry - January 5, 2021 Category: Medical Ethics Source Type: research

The Whiteness of Bioethics
AbstractA discussion of whiteness as an “ethos” or “relational category” in bioethics, drawing on examples from medical and historical research. (Source: Journal of Bioethical Inquiry)
Source: Journal of Bioethical Inquiry - January 4, 2021 Category: Medical Ethics Source Type: research

The Costs of Institutional Racism and its Ethical Implications for Healthcare
AbstractThis paper discusses the ethical implications of racism and some of the various costs associated with racism occurring at the institutional level. We argue that, in many ways, the laws, social structures, and institutions in Western society have operated to perpetuate the continuation of historical legacies of racial inequities with or without the intention of individuals and groups in society. By merely maintaining existing structures, laws, and social norms, society can impose social, economic, and health costs on racial minorities that impinge on their well-being and human dignity. Based on a review of multidisc...
Source: Journal of Bioethical Inquiry - January 2, 2021 Category: Medical Ethics Source Type: research

Whittington Hospital NHS Trust v XX [2020] UKSC 14
(Source: Journal of Bioethical Inquiry)
Source: Journal of Bioethical Inquiry - December 1, 2020 Category: Medical Ethics Source Type: research

Beyond Duty: Medical “Heroes” and the COVID-19 Pandemic
AbstractWhen infectious disease outbreaks strike, health facilities acquire labels such as “war zones” and “battlefields” and healthcare professionals become “heroes” on the “front line.” But unlike soldiers, healthcare professionals often take on these dangerous roles without any prior intention or explicit expectation that their work will place them in grave personal dan ger. This inevitably raises questions about their role-related obligations and whether they should be free to choose not to endanger themselves. In this article, I argue that it is helpful to view this situ...
Source: Journal of Bioethical Inquiry - November 9, 2020 Category: Medical Ethics Source Type: research

Heralding the Digitalization of Life in Post-Pandemic East Asian Societies
AbstractFollowing the outbreak of what would become the COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing measures were quickly introduced across East Asia —including drastic shelter-in-place orders in some cities—drawing on experience with the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) almost two decades ago. “Smart City” technologies and other digital tools were quickly deployed for infection control purposes, ranging from conventio nal thermal scanning cameras to digital tracing in the surveillance of at-risk individuals. Chatbots endowed with artificial intelligence have also been deployed to shift...
Source: Journal of Bioethical Inquiry - November 9, 2020 Category: Medical Ethics Source Type: research

A Global Ecological Ethic for Human Health Resources
AbstractCOVID 19 has highlighted with lethal force the need to re-imagine and re-design the provisioning of human resources for health, starting from the reality of our radical interdependence and concern for global health and justice. Starting from the structured health injustice suffered by migrant workers during the pandemic and its impact on the health of others in both destination and source countries, I argue here for re-structuring the system for educating and distributing care workers around what I call a global ecological ethic. Rather than rely on a system that privileges nationalism, that is unjust, and that sus...
Source: Journal of Bioethical Inquiry - November 9, 2020 Category: Medical Ethics Source Type: research

Interview: Mourning Is a Political Act Amid the Pandemic and Its Disparities (Republication)
AbstractThis conversation between a feminist and a critical whiteness scholar addresses the politics of vulnerability to COVID-19 and the questions of what it means to mobilize and learn from private grief and mass mourning and the role of academia and intellectuals in the current crisis. (Source: Journal of Bioethical Inquiry)
Source: Journal of Bioethical Inquiry - November 9, 2020 Category: Medical Ethics Source Type: research

Mental Capacity Assessments for COVID-19 Patients: Emergency Admissions and the CARD Approach
AbstractThe doctrine of consent (or informed consent, as it is called in North America) is built upon presumptions of mental capacity. Those presumptions must be tested according to legal rules that may be difficult to apply to COVID-19 patients during emergency presentations. We examine the principles of mental capacity and make recommendations on how to assess the capacity of COVID-19 patients to consent to emergency medical treatment. We term this the CARD approach (Comprehend, Appreciate, Reason, and Decide). (Source: Journal of Bioethical Inquiry)
Source: Journal of Bioethical Inquiry - November 9, 2020 Category: Medical Ethics Source Type: research

Healthcare Professional Standards in Pandemic Conditions: The Duty to Obtain Consent to Treatment
This article explores whether the legal duty on healthcare practitioners to disclose the material risks of a proposed medical treatment to a patient should be upheld during pandemic conditions or whether the pre-eminence of patient autonomy should be partly sacrificed in such exceptional circumstances. We argue that measures to protect public health and to respect autonomous decision-making are not mutually exclusive and that there are good reasons to maintain professional standards in obtaining consent to treatment even during acute pressures on public health systems. (Source: Journal of Bioethical Inquiry)
Source: Journal of Bioethical Inquiry - November 9, 2020 Category: Medical Ethics Source Type: research

COVID-19, Moral Conflict, Distress, and Dying Alone
AbstractCOVID-19 has truly affected most of the world over the past many months, perhaps more than any other event in recent history. In the wake of this pandemic are patients, family members, and various types of care providers, all of whom share different levels of moral distress. Moral conflict occurs in disputes when individuals or groups have differences over, or are unable to translate to each other, deeply held beliefs, knowledge, and values. Such conflicts can seriously affect healthcare providers and cause distress during disastrous situations such as pandemics when medical and human resources are stretched to the...
Source: Journal of Bioethical Inquiry - November 9, 2020 Category: Medical Ethics Source Type: research

Telling the Truth to Child Cancer Patients in COVID-19 Times
AbstractA notable feature of the COVID-19 pandemic is that children are less at risk of becoming infected or, if infected, less likely to become seriously unwell, so ethical discussions have consequently focused on the adult healthcare setting. However, despite a lower risk of children becoming acutely ill with COVID-19, there nevertheless may be significant and potentially sustained effects of COVID-19 on the physical, psychological, and emotional health and well-being of children. Focusing on the context of children ’s cancer care, and specifically bone marrow transplant (BMT), we describe some of these effects and...
Source: Journal of Bioethical Inquiry - November 9, 2020 Category: Medical Ethics Source Type: research

Ethical Challenges in Clinical Research During the COVID-19 Pandemic
AbstractThe sudden emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic brought global disruption to every aspect of society including healthcare, supply chain, the economy, and social interaction. Among the many emergent considerations were the safety and public health of the public,  patients, essential workers, and healthcare professionals. In certain locations, clinical research was halted—or terminated—in deference to the immediate needs of patient care, and clinical trials focusing on the treatment and prevention of coronavirus infection were prioritized over studies f ocusing on other diseases. Difficult decisions we...
Source: Journal of Bioethical Inquiry - November 9, 2020 Category: Medical Ethics Source Type: research

Risk Communication Should be Explicit About Values. A Perspective on Early Communication During COVID-19
This article explores the consequences of failure to communicate early, as recommended in risk communication scholarship, during the first stage of the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia and the United Kingdom. We begin by observing that the principles of risk communication are regarded as basic best practices rather than as moral rules. We argue firstly, that they nonetheless encapsulate value commitments, and secondly, that these values should more explicitly underpin communication practices in a pandemic. Our focus is to explore the values associated with the principle of communicating early and often and how use of this pr...
Source: Journal of Bioethical Inquiry - November 9, 2020 Category: Medical Ethics Source Type: research

COVID-19 from Wellington New Zealand
AbstractThis paper examines the role of bioethics in the successful control of COVID-19 in New Zealand. After the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) coronavirus episode in Toronto researchers developed a framework of values and principles to articulate values that were already commonly accepted “in the community of its intended users,” to be used to inform decision-making. New Zealand subsequently developed its own framework that was embedded in its Pandemic Influenza Plan. These formed the basis of the New Zealand response to COVID-19. This paper illustrates the ways in which the bioe thical framework wa...
Source: Journal of Bioethical Inquiry - November 9, 2020 Category: Medical Ethics Source Type: research

Preserving Bodily Integrity of Deceased Patients From the Novel SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic in West Africa
AbstractThe outbreak of the novel coronavirus pandemic, otherwise known as COVID-19 brought about the use of new terminologies —new lexical items such as social distancing, self-isolation, and lockdown. In developed countries, basic social amenities to support these are taken for granted; this is not the case in West African countries. Instead, those suggested safeguards against contracting COVID-19 have exposed the infra structural deficit in West African countries. In addition, and more profoundly, these safeguards against the disease have distorted the traditional community-individuality balance. The enforcement o...
Source: Journal of Bioethical Inquiry - November 9, 2020 Category: Medical Ethics Source Type: research

Ought Conscientious Refusals to Implement Reverse Triage Decisions be Accommodated?
AbstractAlthough one can argue that they do not represent a radical departure from existing practices, protocols for reverse triage certainly step beyond what is ordinarily done in medicine and healthcare. Nevertheless, there seems to be some degree of moral concern regarding the ethical legitimacy of practicing reverse triage in the context of a pandemic. Such concern can be taken as a reflection of the moral antipathy some exhibit towards current practices of withdrawing treatment —that is, when withdrawal of treatment is arguably in the best interests of patients—and a rejection of the purported normative in...
Source: Journal of Bioethical Inquiry - November 9, 2020 Category: Medical Ethics Source Type: research

What Triage Issues Reveal: Ethics in the COVID-19 Pandemic in Italy and France
AbstractIn today ’s pandemic, many countries have experienced shortages of medical resources and many healthcare providers have often been faced with dramatic decisions about how to allocate beds, intensive care, or ventilators. Despite recognizing the need for triage, responses are not the same everywhere, and op inions and practices differ around what guidelines should be used, how they should be implemented, and who should ultimately decide. To some extent, triage issues reflect community values, revealing a given society’s moral standards and ideals. Our goal is to study two countries which share many c omm...
Source: Journal of Bioethical Inquiry - November 9, 2020 Category: Medical Ethics Source Type: research

COVID-19 and Australian Prisons: Human Rights, Risks, and Responses
This article examines the current regulatory responses from Australian state and territory governments to COVID-19 and a recent case which tested the human rights of prisoners during a pandemic. (Source: Journal of Bioethical Inquiry)
Source: Journal of Bioethical Inquiry - November 9, 2020 Category: Medical Ethics Source Type: research

Venenum, Virus, Fear, and Politics
This article presents a short reflection on the confluence between politics and pandemics as they are reflected in Israel in March and April 2020. (Source: Journal of Bioethical Inquiry)
Source: Journal of Bioethical Inquiry - November 9, 2020 Category: Medical Ethics Source Type: research

Imagining and Preparing for the Aftermath of the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Justification for Taking Caring Responsibilities into Consideration when Allocating Scarce Resources
AbstractVarious models have been used to “emplot” our collective experience of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the epidemiological curve, threshold models, and narrative. Drawing on a threshold model that was designed to frame resource-allocation decisions in clinical care, I offer an ethical justification for taking caring responsibi lities into consideration in such decisions during pandemics. My basic argument is that we should prioritize the survival of patients with caring responsibilities for similar reasons we should prioritize the survival of healthcare professionals. More generally, the pandemic revea...
Source: Journal of Bioethical Inquiry - November 9, 2020 Category: Medical Ethics Source Type: research

What Matters? Palliative Care, Ethics, and the COVID-19 Pandemic
AbstractAs is often the case in clinical ethics, the discourse in COVID-19 has focused primarily on difficult and controversial decision-making junctures such as how to decide who gets access to intensive care resources if demand outstrips supply. However, the lived experience of COVID-19 raises less controversial but arguably more profound moral questions around what it means to look after each other through the course of the pandemic and how this translates in care for the dying. This piece explores the interface between the pandemic, ethics, and the role of palliative care. We argue that the ethical discourse should be ...
Source: Journal of Bioethical Inquiry - November 9, 2020 Category: Medical Ethics Source Type: research

The Left Reflects on the Global Pandemic and Speaks to Transform!
AbstractThe structure of this intervention is deliberately schizo-analytic: “and then—,” and “then—.” They are preparatory notes for a webinar by Transform! Europe on the COVID, arranged before the global explosion of Black Lives Matter. I question the top-down philanthropy of the bourgeois Left. I take the Rohingyas as bottom-line victims. I speak from two home towns—Calcutta and New York. I ask the bourgeois Euro-U.S. Left not to monolithize the Global South. Many examples of how “India” is constructed are given. From New York, the United States is declared a failed s...
Source: Journal of Bioethical Inquiry - November 9, 2020 Category: Medical Ethics Source Type: research

The Way We Live Now
AbstractThis is a personal account of one man ’s experience of the months during which COVID-19 spread in Australia. Though personal, it aims to also be representative, so that readers will find in it reflections of their own experiences. Various social incidents are described, some in which social distancing is involved. The altering states of the author’s mind as time passes are carefully described in sequence, and the impact of continued anxiety and isolation on his mental well-being is presented as a form of madness, in one dramatic incident. (Source: Journal of Bioethical Inquiry)
Source: Journal of Bioethical Inquiry - November 9, 2020 Category: Medical Ethics Source Type: research

No Man (or Woman) Is an Island?
(Source: Journal of Bioethical Inquiry)
Source: Journal of Bioethical Inquiry - October 12, 2020 Category: Medical Ethics Source Type: research

Balancing Patient and Societal Interests in Decisions About Potentially Life-Sustaining Treatment
ConclusionOf the policies that addressed resource allocation, this review found broad agreement about the existence of doctors ’ duties to consider the stewardship of scarce resources in decision-making. However, there was disparity in the guidance about how to reconcile competing duties to patient and society. There is a need to better address the difficult and confronting issue of the role of scarce resources in decisio ns about life-sustaining treatment. (Source: Journal of Bioethical Inquiry)
Source: Journal of Bioethical Inquiry - September 21, 2020 Category: Medical Ethics Source Type: research

Why We Never Eat Alone: The Overlooked Role of Microbes and Partners in Obesity Debates in Bioethics
AbstractDebates about obesity in bioethics tend to unfold in predictable epicycles between individual choices and behaviours (e.g., restraint, diet, exercise) and the oppressive socio-economic structures constraining them (e.g., food deserts, advertising). Here, we argue that recent work from two cutting-edge research programmes in microbiology and social psychology can advance this conceptual stalemate in the literature. We begin in section1 by discussing two promising lines of obesity research involving the human microbiome and relationship partners. Then, in section2, we show how this research has made viable novel stra...
Source: Journal of Bioethical Inquiry - September 21, 2020 Category: Medical Ethics Source Type: research

Correction to: Picking and Choosing Among Phase I Trials
The article"Picking and Choosing Among Phase I Trials", written by Jill A. Fisher, Torin Monahan and Rebecca L. Walker, was originally published Online First without Open Access. After publication in volume 16, issue 4, page 535-549 the author decided to opt for Open Choice and to make the article an Open Access publication. (Source: Journal of Bioethical Inquiry)
Source: Journal of Bioethical Inquiry - August 27, 2020 Category: Medical Ethics Source Type: research

Lead Essay —Inside the Pandemic
(Source: Journal of Bioethical Inquiry)
Source: Journal of Bioethical Inquiry - August 25, 2020 Category: Medical Ethics Source Type: research

Understanding Ethical and Legal Obligations in a Pandemic: A Taxonomy of “Duty” for Health Practitioners
AbstractFrom the ethics perspective, “duty of care” is a difficult and contested term, fraught with misconceptions and apparent misappropriations. However, it is a term that clinicians use frequently as they navigate COVID-19, somehow core to their understanding of themselves and their obligations, but with uncertainty as to how to translate or operationalize this in the context of a pandemic. This paper explores the “duty of care” from a legal perspective, distinguishes it from broader notions of duty on professional and personal levels, and proposes a working taxonomy for practitioners to better u...
Source: Journal of Bioethical Inquiry - August 24, 2020 Category: Medical Ethics Source Type: research

The COVID-19 Pandemic and Ethics in Mexico Through a Gender Lens
AbstractIn Mexico, significant ethical and social issues have been raised by the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of the most pressing issues are the extent of restrictive measures, the reciprocal duties to healthcare workers, the allocation of scarce resources, and the need for research. While policy and ethical frameworks are being developed to face these problems, the gender perspective has been largely overlooked in most of the issues at stake. Domestic violence is the most prevalent form of violence against women, which can be exacerbated during a pandemic: stress and economic uncertainty are triggers for abuse, and confinemen...
Source: Journal of Bioethical Inquiry - August 24, 2020 Category: Medical Ethics Source Type: research

Disability, Disablism, and COVID-19 Pandemic Triage
AbstractPandemics such as COVID-19 place everyone at risk, but certain kinds of risk are differentially severe for groups already made vulnerable by pre-existing forms of social injustice and discrimination. For people with disability, persisting and ubiquitous disablism is played out in a variety of ways in clinical and public health contexts. This paper examines the impact of disablism on pandemic triage guidance for allocation of critical care. It identifies three underlying disablist assumptions about disability and health status, quality of life, and social utility, that unjustly and potentially catastrophically disad...
Source: Journal of Bioethical Inquiry - August 24, 2020 Category: Medical Ethics Source Type: research

Humiliating Whistle-Blowers: Li Wenliang, the Response to Covid-19, and the Call for a Decent Society
AbstractThe ethical experience and lessons of  China’s and the world's response to COVID-19 will be debated for many years to come. But one feature of the Chinese authoritarian response that should not be overlooked is its practice of silencing and humiliating the whistle-blowers who told the truth about the epidemic. In this article, we do cument the humiliation of Dr Li Wenliang (1986–2020), the most prominent whistle-blower in the Chinese COVID-19 epidemic. Engaging with the thought of Israeli philosopher Avishai Margalit, who argues that humiliation constitutes an injury to a person’s self-r...
Source: Journal of Bioethical Inquiry - August 24, 2020 Category: Medical Ethics Source Type: research

Accelerating the De-Personalization of Medicine: The Ethical Toxicities of COVID-19
AbstractThe COVID-19 pandemic has, of necessity, demanded the rapid incorporation of virtual technologies which, suddenly, have superseded the physical medical encounter. These imperatives have been implemented in advance of evaluation, with unclear risks to patient care and the nature of medical practice that might be justifiable in the context of a pandemic but cannot be extrapolated as a new standard of care. Models of care fit for purpose in a pandemic should not be generalized to reconfigure medical care as virtual by default, and personal by exception at the conclusion of the emergency. (Source: Journal of Bioethical Inquiry)
Source: Journal of Bioethical Inquiry - August 24, 2020 Category: Medical Ethics Source Type: research

Sheltering at Our Common Home
AbstractThe current COVID-19 pandemic has reactivated ancient metaphors (especially military ones) but also initiated a new vocabulary: social distancing, lockdown, self-isolation, and sheltering in place. Terminology is not ethically neutral but reflects prevailing value systems. I will argue that there are two metaphorical vocabularies at work: an authoritarian one and a liberal one. Missing is an ecological vocabulary. It has been known for a long time that emerging infectious diseases are associated with the destruction of functioning ecosystems and biodiversity. Ebola and avian influenza viruses have been significant ...
Source: Journal of Bioethical Inquiry - August 24, 2020 Category: Medical Ethics Source Type: research

The Phenomenology of Contagion
AbstractThe lived experience of COVID-19 forcibly returns us to our bodies. This essay uses this (for most, sudden) return to embodiment to consider how our senses, as well as our “sense” of space, have been reoriented by this pandemic. It turns to certain strands within feminist philosophy that have questioned the privileged place vision has been accorded in the history of Western thought, as well as to mid-twentieth century phenomenologist Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s aim to rediscover the world of perception by philosophically centring the body, as touchstones to put forth a phenomenology of contagion. Cont...
Source: Journal of Bioethical Inquiry - August 24, 2020 Category: Medical Ethics Source Type: research

An Ethics Framework for Making Resource Allocation Decisions Within Clinical Care: Responding to COVID-19
AbstractOn March, 24, 2020, 818 cases of COVID-19 had been reported in New South Wales, Australia, and new cases were increasing at an exponential rate. In anticipation of resource constraints arising in clinical settings as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, a working party of ten ethicists (seven clinicians and three full-time academics) was convened at the University of Sydney to draft an ethics framework to support resource allocation decisions. The framework guides decision-makers using a question-and-answer format, in language that avoids philosophical and medical technicality. The working party met five times over t...
Source: Journal of Bioethical Inquiry - August 24, 2020 Category: Medical Ethics Source Type: research

COVID-19 and Contact Tracing Apps: Ethical Challenges for a Social Experiment on a Global Scale
AbstractMobile applications are increasingly regarded as important tools for an integrated strategy of infection containment in post-lockdown societies around the globe. This paper discusses a number of questions that should be addressed when assessing the ethical challenges of mobile applications for digital contact-tracing of COVID-19: Which safeguards should be designed in the technology? Who should access data? What is a legitimate role for “Big Tech” companies in the development and implementation of these systems? How should cultural and behavioural issues be accounted for in the design of these apps? Sho...
Source: Journal of Bioethical Inquiry - August 24, 2020 Category: Medical Ethics Source Type: research

Coronavirus Human Infection Challenge Studies: Assessing Potential Benefits and Risks
AbstractHuman infection challenge studies (HCS) have been proposed as a means to accelerate SARS-CoV2 vaccine development and thereby help to mitigate a prolonged global public health crisis. A key criterion for the ethical acceptability of SARS-CoV2 HCS is that potential benefits outweigh risks. Although the assessment of risks and benefits is meant to be a standard part of research ethics review, systematic comparisons are particularly important in the context of SARS-CoV2 HCS in light of the significant potential benefits and harms at stake as well as the need to preserve public trust in research and vaccines. In this p...
Source: Journal of Bioethical Inquiry - August 24, 2020 Category: Medical Ethics Source Type: research