In both its direct and indirect impacts, covid-19 has underscored and exacerbated structural health inequalities. Direct impacts include the spread of the harms caused by the disease itself. Indirect impacts include economic, social, and wider physical and mental health effects consequent to measures to defend against the spread of disease, for example on younger people, people with disabilities and disadvantaged groups.
These impacts require us to look at questions of ethics and equity across time: leading up to, during, and in the aftermath of the pandemic. This workstream provides ethical analysis and foundations for equitable policy and practice to help identify and promote understanding of the relevant values and ethical challenges that have arisen and that will emerge, and it provokes broad debate and discussion of public health ethics.
The public health and inequalities workstream is led by Professor John Coggon from the University of Bristol and a postdoctoral researcher due to start in April.