by John Coggon, Professor, Law School, University of Bristol
Since the early stages of the covid-19 pandemic, urgent attention has been given to expediting the approval and provision of treatments that are shown to prevent or limit the harms that people experience when they contract covid-19. Such treatments have both reduced the burden of disease and lessened rates of mortality. As with any treatments within a healthcare system, these come against considerations of rationing and prioritisation. Any treatment is a finite resource, and in some instances there may be insufficient supply to provide it to all people who might benefit clinically. How, in such instances, may the NHS best, and most fairly, allocate a limited resource?1
By Prof John Coggon, Professor of Law (University of Bristol Law School)
Legal and policy responses to COVID-19 rest on and express the balance of different basic values and principles. Earlier and current regulatory approaches bring into sharp relief how liberty must be understood and weighed against other values. This is for the sake of liberty itself, but crucially too for other compelling aspects of social justice.
Emergency powers and pandemic ethics
COVID-19 is a global problem, albeit one that governments across the world have been approaching differently. Over the past weeks we have seen fast changes in policies as different countries have sought to anticipate and respond to the extraordinary scale of the challenges that we face and which lie ahead. (more…)