This second edition of the bimonthly UK Pandemic Ethics Accelerator newsletter highlights our recent outputs and plans for the coming weeks.
Our recent work
The Accelerator collaborative has produced numerous outputs over the last two months including Rapid Ethics Reviews, academic publications, opinion pieces and blogs.
Rapid Ethics Reviews
We have published four Rapid Ethics Reviews, one of our key outputs, since mid-May:
- John Coggon from the Public health and health inequalities workstream published ‘Government healthy weight strategies: Ethical considerations’ on 13 May.
- Alex McKeown published ‘Ethical considerations in unfairness and mitigating social disparities in covid-19 vaccine distribution and uptake in the UK’ on 13 May.
- Cian O’Donovan, Melanie Smallman and James Wilson, from the Data use workstream published ‘Immunity certification infrastructures and ethics: principles and strategies for decision making’ on 19 May.
- Cian O’Donovan, Melanie Smallman and James Wilson, from the Data use workstream published ‘Making older people visible: solving the Denominator problem in care home data’ on 10 June. This blog was accompanied by a social care evidence tracker. This resource, which tracks studies and projects that offer insights into issues of social care data and covid-19, will be regularly updated.
- Jonathan Pugh, Dominic Wilkinson and Julian Savulescu from the Prioritisation workstream published an article in the Journal of Medical Ethics (JME) entitled Sense and sensitivity: Can an inaccurate test be better than no test at all?
- Julian Savulescu co-authored an article ‘Global Ethical Considerations Regarding Mandatory Vaccination in Children’.
Blogs and opinion pieces
- Shaun Griffin and Gurch Randhawa collaborated on an opinion piece for the BMJ, The geopolitics of public health in a pandemic, which was published on 11 June.
- We published a blog Public engagement in a healthcare crisis: lessons from Ebola for covid-19 and the pandemics to come by Jamie Webb on 10 June.
- A blog by Shaun Griffin and Hugh Whittall, Human challenge trials – how should the public be involved in pandemic research policy-making? was published by the Nuffield Council on Bioethics on 8 June.
- Dominic Wilkinson, Jonathan Pugh and Julian Savulescu published an opinion piece in The Conversation, Pfizer jab approved for children, but first other people need to be vaccinated.
We responded to the Department of Health and Social Care consultation on mandatory vaccination in care homes with responses from the Prioritisation workstream and joint response from the Data use and Public values, transparency and governance workstreams.
We also submitted a response to the joint inquiry by the Science and Technology and Health Select Committee: Coronavirus: lesson’s learned which is available on our website.
The Science Media Centre hosted a briefing with journalists on 24 May. We issued a series of thought pieces on living and dying with covid from each of our workstreams:
- Living and dying with covid: The tough choices ahead
- Living and dying with covid: Not all deaths are equal
- Living and dying with covid: Ethical complexity and health/health trade-offs
- Living and dying with covid: When every life counts equally, how should we count deaths?
- Living and dying with covid: Resolving the hard questions of living with covid-19 – the need for public deliberation
Coverage included an article in the Daily Telegraph in the British Medical Journal (BMJ). See our media release for more information.
Other media coverage included Dominic Wilkinson from the Prioritisation workstream being quoted regarding their piece on childhood vaccination in The Guardian, Huffington Post, The Independent, BBC News, The Mirror, The Express, and an appearance on BBC Radio Scotland and BBC Northern Ireland. Sarah Chan was also featured on BBC Radio Wales.
New advisory group
We have established an Advisory Group with a diverse and high-profile membership, which will meet for the first time on 1 July. The group role is to:
- support expansion of the Accelerator’s network nationally and internationally
- help expand our reach, impact and relevance, particularly in policy and wider society
- identify and facilitate new relationships to people and institutions, and
- support sustainability and extension of the Accelerator’s activities beyond the life of the initial 18 months grant
The members are:
- Charlotte Augst, Chief Executive of National Voices, the leading coalition of health and social care charities in England
- Victoria Butler-Cole QC, barrister at 39 Essex Chambers specialising in health and social care law, and member of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics
- Professor Edward Harcourt, Director of research strategy and innovation at the Arts Humanities Research Council, and fellow of Keble College, University of Oxford
- Adam Hedgecoe, Professor at the School of Social Sciences, University of Cardiff
- Sheuli Porkess, Director Actaros Consultancy, Chair Policy & Communications Group at Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine, former Director Research, Medical and Innovation at the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry
- Gurch Randhawa, Professor of Diversity in Public Health and Director of the Institute for Health Research at the University of Bedfordshire
- Jackie Leach Scully, Professor of Bioethics at the University of New South Wales, Australia, and disability activist
- Hetan Shah, Chief Executive of the British Academy, a Visiting Professor at King’s College London, Deputy Chair of the Ada Lovelace Institute
- James Watson O’Neill, Chief Executive of the deaf health charity, SignHealth
Work with us
We issued our first paid commissioning call which closed for proposals on 11 June. There will be more to come so please keep a look out on our website and on Twitter.
We are also keen to collaborate with colleagues from the national and international ethics community on our outputs. Please contact us with your ideas on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sign up and share
Please pass on this newsletter or this link to colleagues you think will be interested in our work to encourage them to sign up. We will provide regular updates on our work on Twitter so please follow us here.
We would love to hear your feedback on the content of this newsletter so please share your thoughts with us here.