In March 2020, the Government produced a document entitled “Responding to COVID-19: The Ethical Framework for Adult Social Care”. In this article, we summarise the key features of the proposed ethical framework and subject it to critical analysis. We highlight three primary issues. First, the emphasis placed on autonomy as the primary ethical principle. We argue if ever there was a context in which autonomy should dominate the ethical analysis, this is not it. Second, we examine the interface between ethics and law which is largely overlooked in the document. Finally, we explore the surprising lack of attention paid to the concept of responsibility and communal obligations within the framework.