SpringerLink, August 25, 2020, Fairness, Ethnicity, and COVID-19 Ethics
This work provides a discussion on how the guiding principles emergent within the Pandemic in Britain focuses on fairness. The author argues this fairness is not equivalent to equity in healthcare, thus discriminates against people from ethnic minority backgrounds. The author contends for the implementation of sociology in the governing principles guiding GB in this pandemic to champion equity over fairness.
Recent weeks have seen an increased focus on the ethical response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ethics guidance has proliferated across Britain, with ethicists and those with a keen interest in ethics in their professions working to produce advice and support for the National Health Service. The guiding principles of the pandemic have emerged, in one form or another, to favour fairness, especially with regard to allocating resources and prioritizing care. However, fairness is not equivalent to equity when it comes to healthcare, and the focus on fairness means that existing guidance inadvertently discriminates against people from ethnic minority backgrounds. Drawing on early criticisms of existing clinical guidance (for example, the frailty decision tool) and ethical guidance in Britain, this essay will discuss the importance of including sociology, specifically the relationship between ethnicity and health, in any ethical and clinical guidance for care during the pandemic in the United Kingdom.