The Ethics of Triage: Philosophy in the Time of COVID-19

Our first Essex Explores online lecture

  • Wed 29 Apr 20

    19:00 - 20:00

  • Online

  • Event speaker

    Professor Wayne Martin

  • Event type

    Lectures, talks and seminars
    Essex Explores: Questions, Insights and Answers

  • Event organiser

    Corporate events

  • Contact details

    Holly Ward

Essex Explores: Questions, Insights and Answers is our new online lecture series and we’re kicking it off by addressing one of the most pressing questions raised by the COVID-19 pandemic – how to fairly distribute life-saving medical equipment when demand outstrips supply.

Professor Wayne Martin is part of a team of rights experts, from our School of Philosophy and Art History and School of Law, which aims to help NHS ethics committees formulate fair policy and triage procedures for coping with the extraordinary pressures of the pandemic.

Coronavirus has placed tremendous pressure on emergency services, and there has been a much-publicised shortage of critical life-saving medical resources.

Frontline medical personnel are struggling not only with the clinical challenges of care, but with fraught ethical dilemmas.

Hospital ethics committees and public health bodies around the world have had to develop policies and procedures to allocate scarce resources.

Professor Martin will discuss how, if at all, philosophical ethics (and philosophers who work in the academic study of ethical principles) can help to navigate the challenges of triage in a pandemic.

Essex Explores is an opportunity for us to share our very best research, to exchange ideas and inspire our community of staff, students, alumni and friends.

The series will explore different aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the wider societal impact and other unrelated topics as we face the challenges of the new world together.

Register today.

Professor Martin is Director of the Essex Autonomy Project, a multidisciplinary research and public policy initiative. His principal philosophical interests include issues of judgement and decision-making and the theory of agency. He has written extensively on the history of philosophy and on the use of phenomenological methods in psychiatry, psychology and the philosophy of mind.

For the past decade, much of his teaching and research has been at the intersection of philosophy, human rights, and health care policy. He works closely with clinicians and service users to develop a better understanding of decision-making under conditions of serious mental illness, and provides research support to government bodies in the UK and around the world in ongoing efforts to bring mental health law into compliance with modern human rights standards.

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