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  1. Institutional Responsibility is Prior to Personal Responsibility in a Pandemic.Ben Davies & Julian Savulescu - forthcoming - Journal of Value Inquiry:1-20.
    On 26 January 2021, while announcing that the country had reached the mark of 100,000 deaths within 28 days of COVID-19, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that he took “full responsibility for everything that the Government has done” as part of British efforts to tackle the pandemic. The force of this statement was undermined, however, by what followed: -/- What I can tell you is that we truly did everything we could, and continue to do everything that we can, (...)
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  • COVID-19 Vaccination Should Not Be Mandatory for Health and Social Care Workers.Daniel Rodger & Bruce P. Blackshaw - forthcoming - The New Bioethics.
    A COVID-19 vaccine mandate is being introduced for health and social care workers in England, and those refusing to comply will either be redeployed from their patient-facing role or have their employment terminated. We argue that COVID-19 vaccination should not be mandatory for these workers for several reasons. First, it ignores their genuine concerns and fails to respect their moral integrity and bodily autonomy. Second, it risks causing psychological reactance, potentially worsening vaccine hesitancy. Third, Black and minority ethnic health and (...)
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  • The Ethics of Selective Mandatory Vaccination for COVID-19.Bridget M. Williams - forthcoming - Public Health Ethics.
    With evidence of vaccine hesitancy in several jurisdictions, the option of making COVID-19 vaccination mandatory requires consideration. In this paper I argue that it would be ethical to make the COVID-19 vaccination mandatory for older people who are at highest risk of severe disease, but if this were to occur, and while there is limited knowledge of the disease and vaccines, there are not likely to be sufficient grounds to mandate vaccination for those at lower risk. Mandating vaccination for those (...)
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  • Listening to Vaccine Refusers.Kaisa Kärki - forthcoming - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy.
    In bioethics vaccine refusal is often discussed as an instance of free riding on the herd immunity of an infectious disease. However, the social science of vaccine refusal suggests that the reasoning behind refusal to vaccinate more often stems from previous negative experiences in healthcare practice as well as deeply felt distrust of healthcare institutions. Moreover, vaccine refusal often acts like an exit mechanism. Whilst free riding is often met with sanctions, exit, according to Albert Hirschman’s theory of exit and (...)
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  • Listening to Vaccine Refusers.Kaisa Kärki - forthcoming - Medicine Health Care and Philosophy.
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  • Persuasion, Not Coercion or Incentivisation, is the Best Means of Promoting COVID-19 Vaccination.Susan Pennings & Xavier Symons - 2021 - Journal of Medical Ethics 47 (10):709-711.
    Savulescu argues that it may be ethically acceptable for governments to require citizens be vaccinated against COVID-19. He also recommends that governments consider providing monetary or in-kind incentives to citizens to increase vaccination rates. In this response, we argue against mandatory vaccination and vaccine incentivisation, and instead suggest that targeted public health messaging and a greater responsiveness to the concerns of vaccine-hesitant individuals would be the best strategy to address low vaccination rates.
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  • Ethics of Selective Restriction of Liberty in a Pandemic.James Cameron, Bridget Williams, Romain Ragonnet, Ben Marais, James Trauer & Julian Savulescu - 2021 - Journal of Medical Ethics 47 (8):553-562.
    Liberty-restricting measures have been implemented for centuries to limit the spread of infectious diseases. This article considers if and when it may be ethically acceptable to impose selective liberty-restricting measures in order to reduce the negative impacts of a pandemic by preventing particularly vulnerable groups of the community from contracting the disease. We argue that the commonly accepted explanation—that liberty restrictions may be justified to prevent harm to others when this is the least restrictive option—fails to adequately accommodate the complexity (...)
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  • Money is Not Everything: Experimental Evidence That Payments Do Not Increase Willingness to Be Vaccinated Against COVID-19.Philipp Sprengholz, Sarah Eitze, Lisa Felgendreff, Lars Korn & Cornelia Betsch - 2021 - Journal of Medical Ethics 47 (8):547-548.
    Rapid, large-scale uptake of new vaccines against COVID-19 will be crucial to decrease infections and end the pandemic. In a recent article in this journal, Julian Savulescu argued in favour of monetary incentives to convince more people to be vaccinated once the vaccine becomes available. To evaluate the potential of his suggestion, we conducted an experiment investigating the impact of payments and the communication of individual and prosocial benefits of high vaccination rates on vaccination intentions. Our results revealed that none (...)
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  • Spoonful of Honey or a Gallon of Vinegar? A Conditional COVID-19 Vaccination Policy for Front-Line Healthcare Workers.Owen M. Bradfield & Alberto Giubilini - 2021 - Journal of Medical Ethics 47 (7):467-472.
    Seven COVID-19 vaccines are now being distributed and administered around the world, with more on the horizon. It is widely accepted that healthcare workers should have high priority. However, questions have been raised about what we ought to do if members of priority groups refuse vaccination. Using the case of influenza vaccination as a comparison, we know that coercive approaches to vaccination uptake effectively increase vaccination rates among healthcare workers and reduce patient morbidity if properly implemented. Using the principle of (...)
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  • After the Pandemic: New Responsibilities.Neil Levy & Julian Savulescu - forthcoming - Public Health Ethics:phab008.
    Seasonal influenza kills many hundreds of thousands of people every year. We argue that the current pandemic has lessons we should learn concerning how we should respond to it. Our response to the COVID-19 not only provides us with tools for confronting influenza; it also changes our sense of what is possible. The recognition of how dramatic policy responses to COVID-19 were and how widespread their general acceptance has been allowed us to imagine new and more sweeping responses to influenza. (...)
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  • What Money Can’T Buy: An Argument Against Paying People to Get Vaccinated.Nancy S. Jecker - forthcoming - Journal of Medical Ethics:medethics-2021-107235.
    This paper considers the proposal to pay people to get vaccinated against the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The first section introduces arguments against the proposal, including less intrusive alternatives, unequal effects on populations and economic conditions that render payment more difficult to refuse. The second section considers arguments favouring payment, including arguments appealing to health equity, consistency, being worth the cost, respect for autonomy, good citizenship, the ends justifying the means and the threat of mutant strains. The third section spotlights long-term and (...)
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  • Solidarity, Sustainability and Medical Ethics.Zoë Fritz - 2021 - Journal of Medical Ethics 47 (2):63-64.
    In this issue of the Journal of Medical Ethics arguments are cogently made that sustainability and solidarity should be considered as core medical ethical principles, and that more explicit attention should be given to the complex context in which a decision is made. Munthe et al propose that sustainability should become an established principle for justifying healthcare resource allocation, and should be an explicit factor in procuring drugs and other resources.1 They argue that the current operational norms which guide decision (...)
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