24 Apr 2020
by Elaine Gadd
It’s amazing how much (and how many people) we trust in and how reliant we are on trust. Imagine a world in which you never trusted your doctor to try to do her best for you. In an emergency such as the present one when things are so uncertain trust matters even more. But you cannot just command trust (‘Trust me I am an expert/Minister/whatever’) and when trust has been built up over time it is very easy for it to be destroyed in an instant.
There is urgency to the situation that we all face. But urgency does not absolve those responsible for decision-making of the moral duty to involve those who are affected; to engage with the communities that they represent and seek to protect; and to be transparent about the basis on which decisions are being considered and are being made.
At some point in this terrible pandemic doctors will have to make some unbelievably difficult life and death decisions. It is the point at which the demand for the intensive life saving resources outstrips their supply. At that point doctors will have to decide who receives care and who does not. No one should have to make such decisions, and yet they will have to be made.
26 Mar 2020
by John Coggon
Legal and policy responses to COVID-19 rest on and express the balance of different basic values and principles. Earlier and current regulatory approaches bring into sharp relief how liberty must be understood and weighed against other values. This is for the sake of liberty itself, but crucially too for other compelling aspects of social justice.
27 Feb 2020
A brief analysis of what the Government is doing now to contain COVID-19, the possible restrictive measures that they might take to prevent and control the spread, why these might be justified, and why it is important that the Government sets out publicly – and early - the case for implementing such restrictive approaches.