A Bioethical Perspective For Covid-19 Infectious Disease Pandemic

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Işil Ülman F. Y.

Acibadem Health Sciences Journal, vol.11, no.3, pp.365-371, 2020 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)



Infectious diseases are major public health concerns as they cause deaths, disabilities, and provoke epidemics and pandemics. Although they are transmitted from animal to man, from man to man by pathogenic microorganisms, they are detectable, curable, and preventable diseases. Historically there have been significant scientific achievements whilst struggling with infectious diseases by means of immunization, such as smallpox, chickenpox vaccinations. As a matter of fact, the COVID-19 infectious disease which was caused by novel coronavirus (SARSCoV- 2) was first detectable in China in December 2019, and it soon triggered a global pandemic spreading most continents and countries world wide. As well as understanding what to do in scientific, medical, legal, economic, sociological aspects in the fight against the pandemic, there is a need to question "how" this struggle should be conducted. This takes us to analyze the ethical dimension of the issue, according to bioethics principles.

In the fight against the COVID-19 outbreak, while evidence-based scientific and medical interventions continue; bioethics recommends that all developments should be shared with the public with accountability, transparency, integrity; everyone should be treated equally; individual autonomy should be proportionally balanced with the public beneficence under the circumstances of quarantine and isolation; solidarity and cooperation should be promoted between people, hospitals, centres and countries; economic life can be supported by mutual cooperation and solidarity; governments should respond to the needs of the people with justice and fairness; outbreak policies and strategies should be managed in the light of humanitarian, pluralistic, democratic vision; respect to environment, biosphere, biodiversity should be considered responsibly all in line with human rights and dignity.