Philosophy professors discuss ethical questions surrounding vaccine prioritization
As the very first frontline healthcare workers and long-term care residents begin to get the COVID-19 vaccine, the looming question is: Who is next?
There are many things to consider and no easy answers, two Connecticut College philosophy professors, Lindsay Crawford and Derek Turner, told New London’s The Day newspaper.
“These questions are just so extraordinarily difficult,” said Crawford, an assistant professor of philosophy who is teaching bioethics in the spring. “Philosophers tend to be reluctant in giving hard and fast answers; we like to just think about what people might give as an answer.”
Turner, the Class of ’43 Professor of Philosophy, specializes in the philosophy of science and the philosophy of biology. He spoke with The Day about questions surrounding whether to prioritize certain groups, including those who received a placebo in the vaccine trials and members of communities of color, who have experienced injustices and who have had worse health outcomes from the virus so far.
“We don’t have a well worked out, uncontroversial theory that tells us how to balance things like this. There are theories that people study in intro to philosophy classes, utilitarianism and so on, and there are people who work on these questions, but it's just really, really hard,” he said.
Read the article.