- From Our Journals
The Future of Bioethics: It Shouldn’t Take a Pandemic
Abstract: The Covid-19 pandemic has concentrated bioethics attention on the “lifeboat ethics” of rationing and fair allocation of scarce medical resources, such as testing, intensive care unit beds, and ventilators. This focus drives ethics resources away from persistent and systemic problems—in particular, the structural injustices that give rise to health disparities affecting disadvantaged communities of color. Bioethics, long allied with academic medicine and highly attentive to individual decision-making, has largely neglected its responsibility to address these difficult “upstream” issues. It is time to broaden our teaching, research, and practice to match the breadth of the field in order to help address these significant societal inequities and unmet health needs.