71 – COVID 19 and the Ethics of Infectious Disease Control

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As nearly half the world’s population is now under some form of quarantine or lockdown, it seems like an apt time to consider the ethics of infectious disease control measures of this sort. In this episode, I chat to Jonathan Pugh and Tom Douglas, both of whom are Senior Research Fellows at the Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics in Oxford, about this very issue. We talk about the moral principles that should apply to our evaluation of infectious disease control and some of the typical objections to it. Throughout we focus specifically on some of different interventions that are being applied to tackle COVID-19.

You can download the episode here or listen below. You can also subscribe to the podcast on Apple PodcastsSpotifyStitcher and many other podcasting services (the RSS feed is here).

Show Notes

Topics covered include:

  • Methods of infectious disease control
  • Consequentialist justifications for disease control
  • Non-consequentialist justifications
  • The proportionality of disease control measures
  • Could these measures stigmatise certain populations?
  • Could they exacerbate inequality or fuel discrimination?
  • Must we err on the side of precaution in the midst of a novel pandemic?
  • Is ethical evaluation a luxury at a time like this?

Relevant Links

 


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