Ethics & Public Policy

It Didn’t Have to be This Way: Reflections on the Ethical Justification of the Running Ban in Northern Italy in Response to the 2020 COVID-19 Outbreak

In this paper I discuss the ethical justifiability of the limitation of freedom of movement, in particular of the ban on running outdoors, enforced in Italy as a response to the COVID-19 outbreak in the spring of 2020. I argue that through the lens of public health ethics literature, the ban on running falls short of the criterion of proportionality that public health ethics scholars and international guidelines for the ethical management of infectious disease outbreak recommend for any measure that restricts essential individual freedoms, such as the freedom of movement. The public health ethics framework, however, falls short of explaining the widespread public support that the running ban has had in Italy. I discuss possible factors which could explain the public support for the ban in Italy. Finally, I raise the question of what societal implications the abandonment of the public health ethics framework based on proportionality might have. I conclude that if it is the case, as the history of pandemics teaches us, we will experience further waves of COVID-19 outbreaks, it becomes very important to raise these questions now, with an eye towards informing public health policies for the management of future COVID-19 outbreaks. This discussion should not become politicized along the lines of liberal pro-lockdown/conservative anti-lockdown. Instead, we should reflect on the trade-offs of lockdown policies according to a pluralist framework, in which COVID-19 related deaths are not the only possible value to pursue.

Maddock C, Camporesi S, Lewis I, et al. (2011) Online information as a decision making aid for cancer patients: Recommendations from the Eurocancercoms projectEur J Cancer, doi:10.1016/j.ejca.2011.08.018. This paper is the result of a pan-European survey conducted under the auspices of the FP7 Eurocancercoms project during the period September 2010-March 2011. The survey was designed to broaden public policy understanding of patients’ specific needs when seeking online cancer information and aimed to identify gaps in the online cancer information provision across Europe. In this paper we describe the methodology and main findings of the Tenovus survey, and draw some recommendations on the use of online information as a decision making aid for cancer patients and their families.

Fojo T, Siderov J, Williamson S, Camporesi S, McVie JG, et al (2011)  Delivering affordable cancer care in high-income countriesLancet Oncol;12(10):933-80. The burden of cancer is growing, and the disease is becoming a major economic expenditure for all developed countries.  This is not simply due to an increase in absolute numbers, but also the rate of increase of expenditure on cancer. What are the drivers and solutions to the so-called cancer-cost curve in developed countries? How are we going to afford to deliver high quality and equitable care? In this paper we address the barriers and solutions to deliverin..g affordable cancer care and identify several drivers of cost, such as over-use, rapid expansion, and shortening life cycles of cancer technologies, and the lack of suitable clinical research and integrated health economic studies.

Pritchard-Jones K, Lewison G, Camporesi S, et al. (2011) The state of research into children with cancer across Europe: new policies for a new decadeecancermedicalscience; 5(210). DOI: 10.3332/ecancer.2011.210. Overcoming childhood cancers is critically dependent on the state of research. As part of the EU funded Eurocancercoms project to study and integrate cancer communications across Europe we have carried out new research into the state of research in childhood cancers. Over a 6-week period in 2010 a survey was conducted through the offices of SIOPE (the European Society of Paediatric Oncology) of key opinion leaders across Europe to determine their views on the state of paediatric oncology at both national and European level through a framed questionnaire. The responses are outlined in this report and form the basis for spelling out new policies for paediatric oncology in Europe aimed at increased harmonisation, consistent guidelines and at the establishment of a common platform for translational clinical trials.

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