COVID-19 pandemic has exposed human race into ethical dilemmas and created a huge breach in society.
The ethical perspective is necessary to help justify the difficult decisions many will be called upon to make to avoid making moral incorrectness and ethical underpinnings.
Some of these ethical issues include health inequity, dilemmas in allocation of resources which are scarce, ethical issues associated with research, and data privacy.
- Health inequity: The distribution of health outcomes is often unequal in the society composed of wealthy and poor people or nations. COVID-19 pandemic has served as one of the equaliser since it impacts the king and the poor homeless individuals alike. However, it is still far from being an equaliser as far as distribution of power, money and resources to the disadvantaged and minority is not fair. This leads to differences in health outcomes also refferd to as health inequity. It is also viewed that health inequities experienced in childhood progress to poor immunity in adulthood and possible poor physical and mental health making the groups vulnerable.
- Resource allocation: One of the greatest characteristics of this pandemic is the overwhelming nature of patients in intensive care unit when not contained. This put us in difficult position to make decision on the allocation of this scarce resources. Who get to stay in the ICU? Which patients gets the ventilators?
- Research ethics: Approaches to study design had to be adapted in short time to cope with the new pandemic. Questions arose whether or not the resaerch and development of vaccine will easen measures like social distanceing? Whether or not research shold be a collaborative efforts between nations? This has been observed especially in competing pharmaceutical firms across the globe. The most questionable eithics is the adaptation in tolerating higher risks amongs the study subject participants. Likely exposing them to higher risks especially if phase trial starts on people before trial on animals.
- Data privacy: Surveillance system has been the main tool for tracing of patients. The pandemic showed some degree on intrusion into personal data and privacy. However the potential benefit of these apps outweighs the disadvantages because they assist in contact tracing, containment and possible isolation and treatment to save lives