Ethical questions raised by the Coronavirus pandemic

Katrien Devolder has added a new theme for video interviews on her “Practical Ethics” YouTube channel, through which she broadcasts conversations with leading philosophers from around the world on topics that concern us all.

The new video series, called “Thinking Out Loud,” sees Katrien interview philosophers and experts to discuss a wide range of ethical questions raised by the Coronavirus pandemic. So far, Katrien has created 11 videos in the series, in which she confronts difficult questions, such as:

  • Do pandemics increase existing inequalities in societies?
  • How do you deal with decisions of life and death on an intensive care ward overburdened with Coronavirus patients?
  • Who should get a Covid-19 vaccine first?
  • Are Covid-19 contact tracing apps safe?

“I first launched my YouTube channel in 2015 for the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics because I felt it was really important to make more accessible the complex ethical debates I encounter and contribute to through my academic research,” explains Katrien. “The issues that my colleagues and I consider – from autonomous weapons to genetic engineering and from climate change to infectious disease – reach across borders, norms and institutions to impact almost every facet of human society. It is vitally important that we all, as citizens or leaders, are equipped with the ability to undertake rational, ethical reflection and dialogue to inform our choices about how to deal with such challenges.”

The videos have been viewed thousands of times and contributed important insights into debates that have impacts for policy, public opinion and how we can be better prepared to deal with such events in the future.

“I really hope that people find these video interviews as interesting and useful as I did in holding the conversations with experts,” says Katrien. “I welcome comments to further discussion and widen perspectives on the many different issues that the ‘Corona-Crisis’ has raised for communities around the world.”


View the Thinking Out Loud playlist