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.
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?
- Jonathan Pugh’s Homepage
- Tom Douglas’s Homepage
- ‘Pandemic Ethics: Infectious Pathogen Control Measures and Moral Philosophy’ by Jonathan and Tom
- ‘Justifications for Non-Consensual Medical Intervention: From Infectious Disease Control to Criminal Rehabilitation‘ by Jonathan and Tom
- ‘Infection Control for Third-Party Benefit: Lessons from Criminal Justice‘ by Tom
- How Different Asian Countries Responded to COVID 19