The Law, Policy and Ethics of COVID-19
Edited by Colleen M. Flood, Vanessa MacDonnell, Jane Philpott, Sophie Thériault and Sridhar Venkatapuram
As the swift spread of the novel coronavirus took the world by surprise in early 2020, a group of 69 researchers and experts from the University of Ottawa and other institutions mobilized in a herculean effort to understand the human, social, economic and legal ramifications of the pandemic. The result is a collection of 43 essays, published in less than eight weeks, which examines the vulnerabilities exposed by the virus and the ensuing legal, ethical and policy responses.
Vulnerability is the lens through which the authors probe the delicate balance of protecting civil liberties versus preserving public health. The impact of physical distancing laws on homeless people, the fair allocation of health and social resources, occupational health and safety during the pandemic, and the ethics of contact-tracing apps are but a few of the issues covered in this open access book.
Social justice, conclude the editors, should be central to efforts to contain the virus: “The devastation it has and is producing, and the unequal distribution of harms within and across countries, demands global responses to pandemic control that prioritize equity.”