Asian Bioethics Review 13 (2):195-212 (2020)

Steven R. Kraaijeveld
Wageningen University and Research
Governments around the world have faced the challenge of how to respond to the recent outbreak of a novel coronavirus disease. Some have reacted by greatly restricting the freedom of citizens, while others have opted for less drastic policies. In this paper, I draw a parallel with vaccination ethics to conceptualize two distinct approaches to COVID-19 that I call altruistic and lockdown. Given that the individual measures necessary to limit the spread of the virus can in principle be achieved voluntarily as well as through enforcement, the question arises of how much freedom governments ought to give citizens to adopt the required measures. I argue that an altruistic approach is preferable on moral grounds: it preserves important citizen freedoms, avoids a number of potential injustices, and gives people a much-needed sense of meaning in precarious times.
Keywords COVID-19  lockdown  altruism  freedom  justice  public health ethics  bioethics
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2021
DOI 10.1007/s41649-020-00154-y
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Translate to english
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Principles of Biomedical Ethics.Tom L. Beauchamp - 1979 - Oxford University Press.
Universal Declaration of Human Rights.United Nations - 2009 - Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies 21 (1-2):153-160.

View all 8 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

The ”Foreign” Virus? Justifying Norway’s Border Closure.Magnus Skytterholm Egan & Attila Tanyi - 2021 - Etikk I Praksis - Nordic Journal of Applied Ethics 15 (2):29-47.
Ethics of Digital Contact Tracing Wearables.G. Owen Schaefer & Angela Ballantyne - forthcoming - Journal of Medical Ethics:medethics-2020-106958.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Lockdown, Public Good and Equality During COVID-19.Lucy Frith - 2020 - Journal of Medical Ethics 46 (11):713-714.
Being Human in the Time of Covid-19.Johann-Albrecht Meylahn - 2020 - Hts Theological Studies 76 (1).
The COVID-19 Containment in Vietnam: What Are We Doing?Toan Luu Duc Huynh - 2020 - Journal of Global Health 10 (1):010338.
Justifying Lockdown.Christian Barry & Seth Lazar - 2020 - Ethics and International Affairs 2020.
COVID-19 and Mental Health: Government Response and Appropriate Measures.Genevieve Bandares-Paulino & Randy A. Tudy - 2020 - Eubios Journal of Asian and International Bioethics 30 (7):378-382.


Added to PP index

Total views
488 ( #18,501 of 2,505,139 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
81 ( #9,602 of 2,505,139 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes