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Man walking on empty city street with closed shops

GLIDE Fellow Euzebiusz Jamrozik has edited a special issue of Monash Bioethics Review on pandemic public health ethics.

His introduction, Public health ethics: critiques of the “new normal", provides a background for the other articles in the collection and argues that global responses to the coronavirus pandemic has revealed an ethical crisis in public health.

The article analyses key pandemic public health policies in light of widely accepted ethical principles: the need for evidence, the least restrictive/harmful alternative, proportionality, equity, reciprocity, due legal process, and transparency.

He concludes that many policies introduced as part of the response to Covid-19 would be considered unacceptable according to pre-pandemic norms of public health ethics.

The article identifies that there are significant opportunities to develop more ethical responses to future pandemics, and that better understanding of what went wrong, ethically speaking, might help to inform more balanced and proportionate responses to future pandemics.

Other articles in this Special Issue include extended analyses of policies including lockdowns, school closures, border closures, and the use of fear in public health.

Jamrozik, E. Public health ethics: critiques of the “new normal”. Monash Bioeth. Rev. (2022).

Photo credit: Ross Sneddon on Unsplash