Monday, September 14, 2020
As scientists get closer to developing a vaccine for the coronavirus, we need to think about the ethical issues involved in distributing the vaccine. Once a vaccine is developed supplies will, most likely, be scarce. Bioethicists are already discussing this question. They argue that a common ethical framework will actually reduce duplication and make the vaccine more accessible to a broad group of people.
One important ethical issue is the concept of distributive justice. Vaccine companies argue for international distribution, most in collaboration with COVAX, the international group of Gavi (vaccine alliance group), the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness, and WHO. Because Trump has withdrawn from this group, would the U.S. be included in the distribution model?
Assuming that the first scarce allocation is given to the U.S., it would probably serve three percent of our population. Do we need to develop a model for decision-making regarding who gets it? Will it be based on public policy or money?
Prayer for the Day
We confess, O Lord, that we are unsettled,
Unsure of the present and fearful of the future;
Not knowing which way to turn, we rely on the past
But times have changed and we must think anew.
Be with us so we can respond in love and live in courage
As did the Model of our lives,
Even Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.
Thoughts for the Day
The truth is, hardly any of us have ethical energy enough for more than one really inflexible point of horror.
George Bernard Shaw, British writer/activist (1856–1950)
I think it is about time that equipped women began to take on some of the ethical questions which a male-dominated culture has produced and dissect and analyze them quite to pieces in a serious fashion. It is about time that 'half the human race' has something to say about the nature of its existence.
Lorraine Hansberry, American playwright (1930–1965)
Make me to know your ways, O Lord
teach me your paths.
Lead me in your truth, and teach me,
for you are the God of my salvation;
for you I wait all day long.
Psalm 25: 4–5