COVID-19 presents a moral crisis – a choice between ethically unpalatable options. Choosing a strategy of mitigation over suppression strikes a particular balance between expected loss of life and maintaining economic activity. Accepting the real possibility of a greater loss of lives than otherwise might occur has a ‘dirty hands’ feel about it. Leaders and institutions will need to prepare themselves for the opprobrium that will come from confronting such moral dilemmas.Read more
Tag: Political ethics
Martin Wolf: Could a health calamity unacceptable in China be acceptable in the UK or US?
Martin Wolf focuses on the choices decision-makers face, writing that COVID-19 is not just an economic challenge, it is an ethical one. Discussing the debate between suppression and mitigation strategies, he asks ‘Could a health calamity that is unacceptable in China be acceptable in the UK or US?’Read more
Herd immunity or herd culling? Shades of Bentham, Spencer and Galton stalk government COVID-19 responses
Seeping faintly through the pronouncements and policies of some government responses to the coronavirus pandemic are the vapours of older belief systems; a whiff of utilitarianism, the scent of social Darwinism, and the fetid reek of eugenics. Examination of the UK government’s ‘herd immunity’ pandemic response suggests that it is not too farfetched to connect contemporary politics with these ostensibly outdated ideas.Read more