Portrait of a Swedish professor in black and white

The corona pandemic has posed several ethical challenges to our communities

Photo: Lotta Eriksson

What were you most looking forward to in the webinar?

"To be able to present and discuss the report released by the Swedish Medical Ethics Council (Smer) in May this year where, among other things, ethical principles that should guide the corona strategy are presented and various ethical choices are discussed."

What ethical choices would you particularly highlight as important in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic?

“The corona pandemic has posed several ethical challenges to our societies. The choice of corona strategy has consequences for the number of deaths, how vulnerable groups are protected and how human rights and freedoms are affected. These choices are made under great uncertainty because the development of the pandemic is unpredictable. Another important ethical challenge is the global distribution of medicines and vaccines.”

What characterises the Swedish approach to the ethical choices?

“The Swedish strategy has been based on citizens' trust and solidarity instead of coercive measures and lockdown. The question is, however, whether this strategy can lead to set goals such as reducing the spread of infection and the protection of vulnerable groups. "

In which areas have the Nordic countries had different approaches to ethical choices during the pandemic?

“In Sweden, there has been a strategy based on voluntary guidelines, while the other Nordic countries chose to shut down their countries in the spring. These were different political / strategic choices based on the assessment of what is most effective in reducing the spread of the disease and saving human lives, but the choices also have underlying ethical aspects.”