Current Project

Ongoing series of activities

COVID 19 women walking in Italy

Opinions and blogs

Ethics experts from the BMA discuss the issue of doctors’ duty to treat during COVID-19, and explore when work-based risk becomes unacceptable (BMJ Views and Reviews, 1 June 2020)

Ethicists and staff at humanitarian organisations discuss the importance of identifying the moral values relevant to the COVID-19 response in humanitarian settings. (BMJ Opinion, 28 May 2020)

Data ethics experts from the University of Oxford set out 16 questions to assess the ethical justifiability of contact tracing apps (Nature (Comment), 28 May 2020)

Ruth Faden and Megan Collins discuss the ethical trade-offs that accompany decisions on when to reopen schools (Education Week, 8 May 2020)

Australian palliative care specialists discuss the ethical issues that arise at their dinner tables on COVID-19 (InSight, 4 May 2020)

Fabiana Maglio, a specialist consultant in education and international development, discusses how COVID-19 has affected research ethics. (UKFIET, 28 April 2020)

Bioethicist Silvia Camporesi writes about her own experience in the Italian coronavirus crisis. (Aeon, 27 April 2020)

Dr Harald Schmidt discusses historical and structural biases for disadvantaged groups in the US – particularly black people – regarding decisions on ‘who will benefit most’ from having a ventilator (The New York Times, 15 April 2020)

‘Restarting’ the economy and opening up businesses again is, suggests this US blog, more a matter of what is ethical rather than what is scientifically valid. But science has a role to play, and there may be three requirements that should be met for an informed decision to be made, and the lockdown can be lifted ethically: a reduction in infection rates; the existence of wide-ranging and accurate testing and tracing infrastructure; and a stronger health system. The three requirements are put forward by Tom Frieden and colleagues. (Bloomberg Opinion, 15 April 2020)

Joshua Parker, a GP Registrar and Education Fellow in Ethics and Law, and Ben Davies, Research Fellow at the Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, reflect on some of the moral problems associated redistributing resources in response to a pandemic with a specific focus on building more ventilators without additional staff (Practical ethics blog, 14 April 2020)

Oxford-based academics and practitioners discuss the ethical issues around reallocating staff during the pandemic, and the extent of healthcare practitioners’ obligations to treat. (Dunn M, Sheehan M, Horden J, Turnham H, and Wilkinson D, JME blog, 11 April 2020)

Joshua Parker, GP Registrar and Education Fellow in Ethics and Law, and Ben Davies, Research Fellow at the Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, argue that there is need for caution in healthcare professionals handing over moral decision-making in the COVID pandemic to protocols (Practical ethics blog, 8 April 2020)

Barristers contribute to their chamber’s blog in a piece which argues that there is an urgent need for a national policy on allocation and withdrawal of ventilation. (Serjeants’ Inn, 6 April 2020)

Daniel Tigard (Munich Institute for History and Ethics of Medicine) explores the bioethical implications and concerns around ‘immunity passports’ (, 6 April 2020)

Carly Kind, Director of the Ada Lovelace Institute, discusses the implications of COVID-19 for data governance, and suggests that “beneath the veneer of high-tech solutions, the coronavirus response is exposing the cracks in the data governance ecosystem”. (Ada Lovelace Institute, 2 April 2020)

Sir John Chisholm, the Chair of the British Medical Association’s Medical Ethics Committee, comments on the organisation’s guidance for doctors on how to ensure resource allocation decisions are ethical. (The Guardian, 1 April 2020)

Joseph Fins (Division of Medical Ethics at Weill Cornell Medical College) discusses 2015 guidelines on allocating ventilators during public health emergencies drawn up by the New York State Task Force on Life and the Law. He rebuts criticism that the guidelines discriminate against people with disabilities. (The Hastings Center, 1 April 2020 (discussing an opinion piece in The New York Times by Ari Ne’eman, 23 March 2020)

Hollister M (World Economic Forum blog, 30 March 2020) AI can help with the COVID-19 crisis - but the right human input is key

Klitzman R (The Hill, 29 March 2020) How hospitals will decide who lives and who dies in the COVID-19 crisis

Zohny H (Practical Ethics, 24 March 2020) Pandemic ethics: Covid-19 shows just how much of ethics depends on (good) data

Stall N and Sinha S (The Globe and Mail, 26 March 2020) COVID-19 isn’t the only thing that’s gone viral. Ageism has too

Savulescu J (The Guardian, 25 March 2020) Is it right to cut corners in the search for a coronavirus cure?

Morley G (JME Blog, 25 March 2020) COVID-19 and the moral community: a nursing ethics perspective

Marckmann G (Deutsche Welle, 24 March 2020) Coronavirus and ethics: ‘act so that most people survive

Rainey S (Practical Ethics, 24 March 2020) Politics, ethics, and shutting down in the face of COVID-19

Blakely T (Pursuit (University of Melbourne blog) 22 March 2020) The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths

Baggini J (Prospect, 20 March 2020) How is the medical profession to cope with the appalling moral dilemmas it now faces?

Sokol D (The BMJ Opinion, 20 March 2020) The life and death decisions of COVID-19

Food Ethics Council (19 March 2020) Ethics in our food response to COVID-19

Marika Warren discusses what role healthcare ethicists might play in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic (Impact Ethics, 18 March 2020)

Faden R (MV Times, 18 March 2020) Bioethics during the COVID-19 crisis: ‘We need an epidemic of kindness’

Slim H (The New Humanitarian, 18 March 2020) This age of COVID-19 demands new emergency ethics

Savulescu J and Wilkinson D (ABC News, 17 March 2020) Who gets the ventilator in the coronavirus pandemic? These are the ethical approaches to allocating medical care

Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics (17 March 2020) Coronavirus: ethical concerns in planning a response

Parker J and Mirzaali M (Journal of Medical Ethics blog, 16 March 2020) The moral cost of coronavirus

Gandhi R and Patel A (Scientific American, 16 March 2020) What if two COVID-19 victims need ventilators and just one is available?

McBride K (Poynter, 16 March 2020) When should you name COVID-19 patients and other ethical decisions US newsrooms will face this week

Parsons J (Ricochet, 16 March 2020) COVID-19 outbreak in Canada calls for an ethics of collective care

Ives J (The Guardian, 14 March 2020) Coronavirus may force UK doctors to decide who they’ll save

Fernandez E (Forbes, 13 March 2020) The COVID-19 coronavirus is now a pandemic – can we ethically deal with lockdowns?

Symons X (The Sydney Morning Herald, 13 March 2020) Rationing care to cope with COVID-19 should never be based on age alone

Wetsman N (The Verge, 12 March 2020) Personal privacy matters during a pandemic – but less than it might at other times

Wynia M and Hick J (STAT News, 10 March 2020) If Covid-19 gets bad, triage will be needed. Are we ready for that?

Pagel C (9 March 2020) Covid-19: how to triage effectively in a pandemic

Sandberg A (Practical Ethics, 4 March 2020) Pandemic ethics: the unilateralist curse and Covid-19, or why you should stay home

Wilkinson D (The Conversation, 26 February 2020) Coronavirus: should frontline doctors and nurses get preferential treatment?