Get Published | Subscribe | About | Write for Our Blog    

American Journal of Bioethics.

Vexing, Veiled, and Inequitable: Social Distancing and the “Rights” Divide in the Age of COVID-19

Although unprecedented in scope and beyond all our life experiences, sweeping social distancing measures are not without historical precedent. Historically, racism, stigma, and discrimination resulted in grossly inequitable application of disease containment measures. But history also provides examples in which broad measures enjoyed remarkable public support. When it comes to COVID-19, blame and division continue to shape containment responses. But the COVID-19 pandemic also resonates with moments in which there was broad social support for containment precisely because lockdowns or stay at home orders are, on the surface, remarkably equitable. Yet even in a context in which a majority of Americans support social distancing, small but coordinated conservative groups are challenging social distancing as a matter of individual rights. In sharp contrast, vulnerable populations, who bear the heaviest burden of disease, have claimed a right to social distancing as a matter of protection.

View Full Text

Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.

Volume 20, Issue 7
July 2020

Target Articles.

Ethical Challenges Arising in the COVID-19 Pandemic: An Overview from the Association of Bioethics Program Directors (ABPD) Task Force Amy L. McGuire, Mark P. Aulisio, F. Daniel Davis, Cheryl Erwin, Thomas D. Harter, Reshma Jagsi, Robert Klitzman, Robert Macauley, Eric Racine, Susan M. Wolf, Matthew Wynia, Paul Root Wolpe & The COVID-19 Task Force of the Association of Bioethics Program Directors (ABPD)
Eliminating Categorical Exclusion Criteria in Crisis Standards of Care Frameworks Catherine L. Auriemma, Ashli M. Molinero, Amy J. Houtrow, Govind Persad, Douglas B. White & Scott D. Halpern
Should Extremely Premature Babies Get Ventilators During the COVID-19 Crisis? Marlyse F. Haward, Annie Janvier, Gregory P. Moore, Naomi Laventhal, Jessica T. Fry & John Lantos
COVID in NYC: What We Could Do Better Tia Powell & Elizabeth Chuang
Ethics Lessons From Seattle’s Early Experience With COVID-19 Denise M. Dudzinski, Benjamin Y. Hoisington & Crystal E. Brown