Ethical Decision-Making in the Covid-19 Crisis
Wednesday Forum – 29 April 2020
There are two types of ethical decisions in the Covid 19 crisis, personal and corporate. Personal decisions revolve around whether to wear masks and social distance, the difficulty being that mask wearing and distancing primarily protects others from you if you are infected and don’t yet know it, and only protests you if everyone follows the rules. Some nations have done a good job, especially those SE Asian nations that prepared for epidemics following SARS, but also a few rich nations (e.g. Germany). Good preparation involved planning, stocking safety equipment and ventilators, and making plans to produce testing kits in large numbers quickly. Poor nations were less able to do this. Without preparedness, lockdown is the best option, but poor nations suffer the most from lockdown.
Christine E Gudorf was a Professor of Religious Studies specializing in social and religious ethics at Xavier University 1978-93, and Florida International University 1993-2015, when she retired. She published nine books and over 200 journal articles during her career, was co-editor of the Journal of Christian Ethics, and Chair of the Ethics Section of the American Academy of Religion.
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