The Covid pandemic has posed substantial challenges to societies and health systems globally. Many of these challenges have been technical, such as the development of effective vaccines and therapies. The challenges that have proven most vexing and controversial, however, involve determining the “right” course of action on a number of critical issues: how to allocate scarce vaccines, whether to introduce mask and vaccine mandates, whether to restrict travel, and whether to intentionally infect research participants in order to test vaccines, to name a few. The “right” decision in these cases is neither a technical matter nor resolvable by additional evidence; rather, it requires value judgments and, thus, ethics.
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