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Hastings Center Report

From the Editor: Justice through a Wide-Angle Lens

Abstract: In the lead article of the May-June 2021 issue of the Hastings Center Report, Nancy Jecker and Caesar Atuire argue that the Covid-19 crisis is best understood as a syndemic, “a convergence of biosocial forces that interact with one another to produce and exacerbate clinical disease and prognosis.” A syndemic framework, the authors advise, will enable bioethicists to recognize the ethical principles that should guide efforts to reduce the unequal effects that Covid-19 has on populations. Drawing on sub-Saharan African conceptions of solidarity, the authors lay out an approach to global vaccine distribution that prioritizes low- and middle-income countries. Like Jecker and Atuire’s article, an essay by philosopher Keisha Ray pushes bioethicists to recognize broader justice-oriented responsibilities with the aid of a wide-angle lens. Ray’s essay focuses on contemporary examples of environmental injustices that sicken, disable, or kill Black people.

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