Coming up: Special symposium on social and ethical implications of the COVID-19 pandemic

Coming up: Special symposium on social and ethical implications of the COVID-19 pandemic

This is a time of uncertainty, threat and upheaval. COVID-19 has already had a profound effect on individuals, communities and entire nations. It has raised deep questions about how we allocate health resources in times of crisis, and what it means to be a healthcare worker today. It has already challenged the ways we connect with each other, the nature of community, our concepts of home and value, and the relative privileging of economic and health associated welfare.

This upcoming Journal of Bioethical Inquiry symposium will compile reflections on the meanings associated with COVID-19 from the perspective of the centre of the epidemic. It is hoped that these reflections will offer insight into our current global experience of COVID-19 and also be useful in deeper consideration of this event after the crisis has passed. The articles to be included range a gamut of issues, from resource allocation, to the implications of isolation, the development and use of technologies, changes in social and healthcare supports, and examinations of community and political responses. Contributors to the symposium come from a variety of geographic and cultural backgrounds across our global North and South, from a wide variety of professional, academic and philosophical traditions. Included responses range from the scholarly to the more deeply personal. However, all contribute an analysis of the opportunities for learning that COVID-19 presents us, through understanding how we prepare and sustain ourselves within crisis and what meaning this should have for our “usual” lives.

Symposium editors: Michael Chapman, Paul Komesaroff, Ian Kerridge, and Ross Upshur


COVID-19 pandemic bioethics resources

The Australasian Association of Bioethics and Health Law (AABHL) has brought together on its website links to existing information and guidance on COVID-19 pandemic topics, including resources from individual bioethics scholars as well as those being developed by bioethics organisations. This information can be viewed here.

The Journal of Bioethical Inquiry is the official journal of the Australasian Association of Bioethics and Health Law and the Bioethics Centre of the University of Otago and an official partner journal of the American Society for Bioethics + Humanities.


Image caption/credit: This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. Note the spikes that adorn the outer surface of the virus, which impart the look of a corona surrounding the virion, when viewed electron microscopically. A novel coronavirus, named Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China in 2019. The illness caused by this virus has been named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). [CDC/ Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAMS (2020)]