The ethics of how we respond to the spread of the new coronavirus

Samples are tested for COVID-19.
Samples are tested for COVID-19 Tuesday, March 3 at the Minnesota Department of Health.
Courtesy of Minnesota Department of Health

COVID-19 cases continue to multiply in the United States. Meanwhile, medical professionals, government officials and communities are hard at work to tamp down the continued spread of the virus through care and social distancing. But those aren’t the only challenges we face.

The spread of the novel coronavirus is requiring hard choices in terms of public health, the economy, and in some cases life and death. MPR News host Kerri Miller talked with a bioethicist about ethics in the time of a pandemic and what it all means for our health and our society.


  • Jeffrey Kahn is the Andreas C. Dracopoulos director of the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics. He also is the inaugural Robert Henry Levi and Ryda Hecht Levi professor of bioethics and public policy and a professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

To listen to the full conversation you can use the audio player above.

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