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Bioethics ; 35(6): 581-588, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1216724


The COVID-19 pandemic has had an immense and worldwide impact. In light of future pandemics or subsequent waves of COVID-19 it is crucial to focus on the ethical issues that were and still are raised in this COVID-19 crisis. In this paper, we look at issues that are raised in the testing and tracing of patients with COVID-19. We do this by highlighting and expanding on an approach suggested by Fineberg that could serve as a public health approach. In this way, we highlight several ethical issues. As regards testing, questions are raised such as whether it is ethical to use less reliable tests in order to increase testing capacity or minimize harm for patients. Another issue is how wide testing should be and whether selective testing is in accordance with principles of social justice. Patients who have recovered from COVID-19 might have some degree of immunity but attributing certain 'immunopriviliges' raises ethical questions. The use of various tracing methodologies (mobile apps or databases and trained tracers) raised evident questions of social justice and privacy. We argue why it is key to always uphold a test of proportionality where a fair balance must be sought.

COVID-19 Testing/ethics , COVID-19 , Contact Tracing/ethics , Ethics , Mass Screening/ethics , Pandemics , Public Health/ethics , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/prevention & control , Contact Tracing/methods , Data Management , Humans , Mobile Applications , Privacy , Reproducibility of Results , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Justice
Med Health Care Philos ; 23(3): 519-536, 2020 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-597906


The author reviews various conceptions of autonomy to show that humans are actually not autonomous, strictly speaking. He argues for a need to rethink the personal autonomy approaches to HIV testing in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) countries. HIV/AIDS has remained a leading cause of disease burden in SSA. It is important to bring this disease burden under control, especially given the availability of current effective antiretroviral regimens in low- and middle-income countries. In most SSA countries the ethic or value of personal autonomy or self-determination is promoted as primary in HIV testing decision-making. SSA policymakers have an ontological and moral duty to adopt HIV testing policies that reflect human and medical realities, relationships, local contexts, and respect human rights for both individuals and others who are affected by HIV in society. Without rethinking the value of autonomy in HIV testing decision-making, the article cautions that attainment of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3 and the UNAIDS fast-track strategy that explicitly call to end the epidemic by 2030 will not be feasible for SSA.

HIV Infections/diagnosis , Mass Screening/ethics , Mass Screening/psychology , Personal Autonomy , Africa South of the Sahara/epidemiology , HIV Infections/epidemiology , Human Rights , Humans , Philosophy, Medical