Like almost everyone else, I have been obsessing over the novel coronavirus pandemic for the past few months. Given the dramatic escalation in the pandemic in the past week, and the tricky ethical questions it raises for everyone, I thought it was about time to do an episode about it. So I reached out to people on Twitter and Jeff Sebo kindly volunteered himself to join me for a conversation. Jeff is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies, Affiliated Professor of Bioethics, Medical Ethics, and Philosophy, and Director of the Animal Studies M.A. Program at New York University. Jeff’s research focuses on bioethics, animal ethics, and environmental ethics. This episode was put together in a hurry but I think it covers a lot of important ground. I hope you find it informative and useful. Be safe!
Topics covered include:
- Individual duties and responsibilities to stop the spread
- Medical ethics and medical triage
- Balancing short-term versus long-term interests
- Health versus well-being and other goods
- State responsibilities and the social safety net
- The duties of politicians and public officials
- The risk of authoritarianism and the erosion of democratic values
- Global justice and racism/xenophobia
- Our duties to frontline workers and vulnerable members of society
- Animal ethics and the risks of industrial agriculture
- The ethical upside of the pandemic: will this lead to more solidarity and sustainability?
- Pandemics and global catastrophic risks
- What should we be doing right now?