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Posted on March 18, 2020 at 8:48 AM

Dr. Alyssa Burgart hosts a monthly ethics “Twitter chat” with MedPage Today, a medical news site. She uses the chats to highlight ethics experts on various topics.

In January, Alison Bateman-House discussed access to unapproved drugs. In February, Josephine Johnston discussed germline genome editing. I was supposed to discussed medical aid in dying on the March chat. 

But as the COVID-19 outbreak’s approach became more apparent, I passed the torch to Lindsay Wiley, a public health ethics and law expert at American University. Dr. Burgart also reached out to another public health ethics and law professor, Daniel Goldberg, at Colorado University.

Join Professors Wiley, Goldberg, and Dr. Burgart on Wednesday, March 18 at 1:00PM Pacific Time by following @MedPageToday, #EthicsMPT, @ProfLWiley, @prof_goldberg, and @BurgartBioethix.

Some questions they will discuss include:

  • What are the most important public health ethics lessons learned from previous disease outbreaks, like SARS and Ebola?
  • What are some ways employers can effectively manage the COVID-19 crisis to keep healthcare workers at the bedside caring for patients?
  • What government responses to COVID-19 have been effective in terms of preventing spread? What responses have been problematic?
  • How can government responses to COVID-19 diminish stigma and racism against marginalized groups, especially people of Asian descent?
  • Restrictions on individuals and businesses are being used to prevent spread. What are the effects of these types of mandatory orders?
  • We have heard healthcare workers may have to “decide who lives and dies” due to a lack of hospital beds and other equipment. How can we address this?

Thousands of clinicians, hospitals, public health teams, and governments are reasoning through pandemic ethical issues daily. Dr. Burgart hopes that forums like this will provide a way to reason through some of these issues together in real time.

Note: Following chats on twitter can be a little challenging. Help the guest experts see your ethics questions and comments by using the #EthicsMPT hashtag in every post. Consider using TweetDeck to follow the #EthicsMPT to follow along.

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