Recommendation: When Ethicists Opt Out: The Failure of Campus COVID Mandates by Sarah Hartman-Caverly

«You can erase my program Doctor, but you can never change the fact that you’ve already used some of my research. Where was your conscience when B’Elanna was dying on that table? Ethics, Morality, conscience; funny how they all go out the airlock when we need something. Are you and I really so different?»
«Computer, delete medical consultant program and all related files.»
Crell Moset and The Doctor in «Voyager: Nothing Human»

One of my criticisms of the reactions to the Covid-19 pandemic deals with universities (in Germany, but also in other countries including the US) using social, economic and organizational (in the US also legal) pressures to force students and employees to get vaccinated.

I’ve criticized it a few times on this blog, among others, because I think it will lead to a selective drop-out of the more interesting students and lecturers. Those who do not want to let others make the decisions for themselves. And to be clear, that’s not that obvious a problem if you came to the decision that one, two, three (or more) Covid-vaccinations were the right decision for you. But even if this is the case, it should concern everyone that pressure is used with personal health decisions. Even more so, given that it will not stop with Covid. Once that wall has fallen, once the bodily autonomy that not even a doctor may override becomes the subject of policy decisions, … let’s just say we will not like where that ends.

So the opinion piece “When Ethicists Opt Out: The Failure of Campus COVID Mandates” by Sarah Hartman-Caverly was an interesting read, even if I agree with it/see the same problems (you usually learn more if you disagree).

It also points to interesting further reading, e.g.:

Kheriaty has since written about the coercive nature of COVID-19 mandates, which deploy vast institutional power against individuals with little recourse, diluting liability through bureaucratization that ensures diffusion of responsibility.

which is a short text that is well worth reading, and also the linked video of Julie Ponesse is worth watching (and a punch in the gut).

I also like that paragraph:

Put another way, what line are you unwilling to cross, and how will you know when it has been breached? This ethical situational awareness will provide the fortitude we all need to make sound judgments, take moral action, and challenge incremental encroachment on basic human rights in the face of future crises.

Worth a look (and besides the private emails, nice to see that I am not alone in my assessment of the situation).