Harvard Live Pandemic Ethics with Michael Sandel
Hello. Welcome my name, is Michael Sandel welcome, to this university-wide, discussion, of. Pandemic. Ethics, we're. Going to imagine that we are gathered, all of us in. Sanders, theater as we. Might have been on other occasions, to. Discuss some, of the ethical questions. Raised, by the pandemic, suppose. Hypothetically. There. Were an. Immunity. Test, for. Code 19. Developed. And. Suppose. It were widely available, suppose. Everyone, could be, tested. For immunity, to covert 19, how. Many would be in favor of permitting. Everyone. With. Immunity, to go back to work. Well. Everyone, else had. To continue. To. Isolate. To. Protect. The community, and themselves, how, many are in favor and, how, many are against, the, idea of immunity. Passports. In, deciding, who. Will, be allowed to go back to work. As the, votes are tallying, the. Majority, of participants. Are. In favor but. It's a fairly, close boat. Right. Now about 55. To 45, percent. So. Let's, begin by those, who object, let's. See if there is someone who is. Against, the immunity, passport. Proposal. Who. Can, articulate. His, or her objection, to. Begin our discussion, let's, begin with, Isabel. A Harvard. College student. Isabel. Tell us why you object I am, thank you so much for doing this today and I. Think it's an interesting proposal on the one hand because of course we. Want to call, our country out of economic distress and. Getting. Unemployed, people back to work is obviously a priority but, at the same time I feel like it, might create a perverse, incentive for, people who. Are, not at risk of serious. Complications to, expose themselves to the virus so. That they can acquire this passport, and. In doing so they might sort. Of, undermine. The efforts to flatten the curve also. How, is it fair that people who, might have been going. On to bring break in Miami and we're ignoring guidelines, like they, endangered. A lot of other people but in the course of doing that. Gained. Immunity, and dad they could go back to work and receive lives as normal so I think there's the elements like if in theory we could distribute the. Gains. Of those who are able to go back to work that, would be an ideal situation but that seems impossible to me so that, last point Isabel raises an interesting question you. Might. Be more favorably, inclined, to, let those who are immune go back to work if it were on the condition, that, the income they earned were. Shared with. Those who lacked an immunity, passport, I would. But it seems like that it's a complicated proposal, also if people think.
To Themselves well if I go back to work the. Money you make it's going to be redistributed so, what's the point I think, that, could be a issue as well all right so Isabel, has given. Some, reasons, again. The. Immunity, passport, idea, let's, see if there are others who also object. Priyanka, at. The, Harvard. Business School. Priyanka. What's your objection, my objection is primarily, on privacy, grounds. I think, even if you, are, someone. Who goes, to work and you've, said like oh I don't have the disease by. Extension, people, would assume that if you're not at work you do have the disease, and. I think that especially when people are going. To be. Doing, this at scale, like I don't trust the government to, keep, tabs on my privacy, and. I'm just really skeptical. Of anything, that exposes. Very personal, information, like that to my community, all. Right thank you for that so Janka. Objects, on privacy, grounds. Isabel. Objects, on grounds, that, it might create an incentive, for people to take risks. Maybe. Dangerous risks. In hopes, of acquiring the immunity, let's hear now from those. Who support. The idea of. Allowing. People to go back to work who. Do have immunity passports. Let's turn to Jenny. Mansbridge, professor, in the Kennedy School of Government. All. Right I can't, answer those two very good objections, but. I can suggest that, perhaps within. The groups that has immunity, passports. Those, who, are in. In. Industries. That are particularly, suffering. Should, be tried first. Restaurants. Other kinds. Of industries, that have been completely destroyed. By. This that the, one would not, simply. Have a 100%. Immunity. Passport throughout the land but, try it out first in the most important, industries. So you're, in favor. Unpure. Lee practical. Pressing, practical, grounds, people. Back to work yes and. How do you answer the. Interesting, point that Isabel. Raised that. If. That's the case why shouldn't the fortunate, ones who have immunity. Be. Allowed to go back to work Jenny only, on the condition that they. Share their earnings, with, those who can't I think. That's a very good idea but. I think all of us whether, we're immune or not who, have secure jobs for, example you and me we. Should be sharing our our, income. With, those who don't have work we should have some quite drastic. Pro+. Taxation. At the moment a one-time, tax that. Would take, those of us who are in very secure positions, and, ask us to give as well thank, you thank, you for that Jenny. So we've heard some arguments, for and against, the idea of an immunity, password, as it's a condition, of going back to work I'd like to put a variation. Of this idea, that, was also, raised. Suggested. As a question in. This case by a faculty colleague. About. The condition, for, admitting. Students. Back. To the campus, back, to the Harvard campus, this. Is not exactly, an immunity. Passport. But but it has to do with virus, testing the. Question. Supposes. Hypothetically. Which deadly is not the case yet that. There were a simple, and easy and accessible, test. For. The virus straightforward. Virus, testing and. According, to the the questions, proposed by a colleague, why. Shouldn't, we if we had such a test. Say. That. Everybody. Has to take the test on a daily. Basis, at. Least in, the in the immediate. The future, and. Those. Who were virus free are welcome, back on campus the. New dormitories, to the libraries, to the labs to the classrooms, those. Who aren't. Had. To stay have, to stay away until, they, pass, the, virus test. Let's. Take, a vote on this proposal. Readmission. To the Harvard campus. But. Only on the condition of. Passing. A daily, virus. Test. How. Many would be in favor of that proposal, and how. Many would be against. This, is actually, quite a close. One, a virtual. Tie at. The, moment keep voting for another few, seconds. Opinion. In the group, is. Almost, evenly, divided, on this, question. So. Let's, see what people's reasons, are and what people's arguments, are, more. Or less evenly, divided, is this. Group on, the, idea of daily virus testing, as a condition, for returning, to the Harvard campus, who. Will defend, this idea, to, get our discussion. Going. Ryan, Harrison. I believe. You're a student in the at HBS in the business school is that right that's right that's, right all right there are lots of preconditions, to coming to the. School I mean we have to have certain of our vaccines and. Pass other health tests and so if. This is something that really in dangers the community by the same logic. This. If, it really would, you know caused massive. Arm to lots of people then there, should be no problem in than doing this there's already precedent, for it daily is a little bit annoying and if we could get that turn around to be faster, that would be better but it's, the same principle so you require vaccinations.
For. That matter to go to the public schools why, not require were. It available, a quick. Daly, virus, test as a condition, of returning to the Harvard campus says. Ryan. Let's, hear from someone who disagrees, Sharon, in the Graduate School of Design, you're. Against, this idea I, feel. That with the previous question as well people with pre-existing health, conditions, would. Be. More likely to not, be immune. Or not passed the test so I feel like you're advantaging. The people who are already very healthy and strong or younger. Most likely and having. Those people who are, now so healthy with pre-existing. Conditions will be more likely to do, suffering. In, that case and. So what, would you do instead would you keep the campus closed, for, the sake of. Equity. I think that less there's like a solution, that would allow people to have. Sources equally regardless of, your health, conditions, and age. It, would be, benefiting. People of, certain, like. Concerned group over, others. It. Would be unfair you'd be out there yeah, all. Right Sharon, stay, close by I want to bring Ryan back in and see, Ryan what do you say to Sharon, so, the point that it's unfair that some people have pre-existing conditions. Sure. I think that's a fact of life or, other vaccines, as well that. If, you. Have a certain. Disease. That's highly, transmissible. Then, you, for, the public health safety I guess you can't be in large groups, and. So to, the extent that we can. Know. The status of that or if there's you. Know a vaccine that you should have that before you're allowed to be in a large, group so, if we could make accommodations, like zoom classes, or recorded classes to accommodate those people that would be probably. A, way. To get around that otherwise, no. So. Ryan you would, imagine that, some. Return to campus return, to the classroom take. Classes in person and, those. Unlucky. Ones who can't pass the virus test, or who, lack immunity, sit. At home and take, classes on zoom' as we're doing now I. Think. That's a fair, way to get around the the issue and. Provides. A bit, of a solution, to each party as we can she'll. Be in, the, School of Education if, we're asking people to to. Test themselves every. Day I think it's different than asking. Someone to get a vaccine, at this point because I think we don't know enough about where. We're at in terms of how much these things are going to cost, if. We're asking somebody to do this every day, you. Know I don't think we know what that would be for different people and I think it could. Create a barrier for a lot of different people to come to, school and so until I think we could offer a way that we could provide access, to, all different people in terms of offering different, aid. To people to. Pay for those vaccines, or to pay for, testing. Or until. We could sort of provide an equitable option, for, for providing, a way for them to get that testing, I just don't think that would be the appropriate the. Appropriate, way to move, forward, thank. You for that Curtis in, FAS hello, so I have, a couple of thoughts here one is we've. Been talking about these tests, as if they are a hundred, percent reliable, I think, that's doubtful, and if, we had a population.
Of. Several, thousand students close together and one person, has, an invalid. Certificate. Of immunity, it's, likely that they will, precipitate. An outbreak, within, that dense community, also. What. About faculty. Who, are at risk or other people, who are working at the University who are not students, maybe are not being tested on a daily basis or our. Contract. The virus through, this false sense of security I'm concerned about that but. One of the other things, is I'm worried about the idea of equity. In the following sense, what if Harvard, is one, of the few privileged. Campuses, that can reopen its doors because, it has a great medical school. It has access to testing, and other, schools, do not have. What kind of society, are we living in if we, have that kind of inequity, and, if. I could just ask you a follow-up yeah, Curtis. Who's a professor, in the math department chairman. Of the math department am. I right yes Fred. Given. The, the. Inequality. That you worry about that Harvard is cribbage. We're imagining that, thanks. To, the. Harvard Medical School, we would have access to the, tests that we're only just, imagining, to be sure there's not the access, currently, available but. If it were and if. We. Could do this at Harvard. Or other, well. Institutions. Could do this but. Many could not. What. Would you conclude from that that we should desist, from using it I think that the, benefits. Of medical. Advances, need, to be shared equitably, in society, and. That. The. Testing. Prioritization. Should, not be based. On. Small. Communities, like Harvard, but rather on, the health status of the individuals, that need to be tested so you would not use this you would not like to see Harvard, useless, even if we could is. It a way of reopening, our campus, sooner. Rather than later as. I said I think there's several practical. Issues there but I'm definitely. Concerned about. About. The privileged, issue I can, imagine that, we. Make a moral compromise, and do it any way that I would be troubled so you might do it but with a heavy, heart and maybe a guilty conscience, exactly. Thank. You for that. Danielle. A Harvard college student what do you think with your thoughts the equity problem, I think. That there may be a dimensions, that people have not considered or maybe have considered and I haven't seen they no solutions but I don't. But. In, the event that we don't open. Campus, because doing so and testing pursue that policy wouldn't be an equable option that, means that how come eyes nobody would be, getting. Whatever advantages, I'm associated, with having the campus open and. I do you think that having. Chemists open with that policy and having maybe, a privileged, few get that benefit is superior. In outcome at least to, having nobody get that at all because we don't think it's that good alone therefore we don't implement it. So. In that sense I do think that even, if it only benefits, some people if you alternative is for it to benefit nobody it's, not necessarily better to withhold, that just because the, distribution is going, to be unequal, and unfair you would worry about equity. But you would not allow equity, concerns. To. Override. The. Desirability, of, reopening. At a campus or I suppose by extension, reopening. The economy, I think that equity concerns are important. But. If the alternative, is to help nobody eat then I do. Some people is better than helping done all right well thank you for that Danielle this. Discussion. About. Equity, and about, hard choices, leads. Me to another question, a related. Question that was suggested. By. One among, our participants, and, it's. A question that, suggests. An, analogy. The. Analogy, is this. It, has to do also with. Life and death. Every. Year in the, United States. Quite. A large number of people died, in. Auto accidents. On. Average. That's around. 40,000. People a year, in the United States, syan, car crashes, now. We know. That. If we lowered, the speed limit, to, 15, or 20, miles an hour. Many. Fewer people would die. But. The. Questioner, proposes. We, don't do that we, are willing to put up with. Roughly. 40,000. Deaths per year for. The convenience, of having. Cars. And. For. The convenience, and the efficiency. Of. Having. Higher speed, limits. Now. That, raises the question. Should. We be willing. To. Pay a similar, price in lives. In. Order to reopen. Large, parts, of the economy. If. We're prepared to do it in the case of.
Auto. Accidents. Why. Are we not prepared, or should we be prepared, to. Do it in the case of. Kovat. 19, so. Let's assume hypothetically here's. The question, that's. Assume, hypothetically. That. We, could reopen. Large. Parts. Of the economy. At. An, annual. Loss, of life -. Koba 19, of. 40,000. People in the United States, let's. Assume we got it down to that. It's likely going to be greater than that this, year alas, but let's. Assume we could do that. Should. We be willing to accept. 40,000. Deaths. Annually. From kovat, in, exchange. For opening, at least large parts, of the economy how many say yes and how many say no. If, you say yes. Click. The yes button and. If. You say. No click the no button. It. Looks like a very. Slim. Majority, are, against. This. Proposal. But. It's pretty, evenly. Divided. Slight. Majority. Against. So. Let's, hear from those who object, to the. Idea, and. To the analogy, with. Automobile. Deaths. Who. Can say, let's, clear, the. Raising. Of hands and everyone, rate at those of you who object, to this policy. If, you would now raise your hands, those of you who would like to. Tell. Us why why. Do you object. Nadia. A Harvard, college student you're against, this proposal, tell us why in comparing, you know this disease, to. Car to car accidents I think, there is a level of autonomy in, some you know all car accidents are determined, by personal, choice or by. A decision, but, those say, involving, distracted, driving those, involving. You know we're. Going or or ignoring speed limits those also take. Into consideration. The, autonomy, in an individual, and those similar, to the, autonomy one takes up with a vaccine. In. In, getting that vaccine to try to reduce the right now I know vaccines, can only do so much folks still get infected books don't get sick folks can still possibly die but I really, wanted to bring up that. Point, within. The scenario so that's kind of why I was against. Because. Since, we currently, do not have a vaccine and. We don't know like the scope or the extent, to what this to this disease can do and how it can't affect the human body I would, be against, without like without that addition okay, thank you for that Nadia.
Let's, Go to the Harvard Medical School, Lawson, what do you think you're also against, have, no and. Easy. Answer, for this I think as a. Physician. My. Placing. Of the human life as above, all. Sort. Of overrides. Other. Considerations. Which. Have. Become very troubling for me so for instance the economic, consequences, of shutting. Down society. And the, quite literally millions of people who are going to be pushed into poverty, as, a result and that, in itself, entails, a lot of both. Economic and, health. Related. Outcomes. Which. May not be so desirable, for society, so I have, no have. No easy answer, for this unfortunately. But you don't like the idea you voted against, yes I think there's there, are too many unknowns for, me. And. Can we reliably. Quantify. The so-called, death. Toll and will. It be akin. To the, death toll from automobile. Students I don't know but if it were. I. Worried. About the slippery slope, how, many concessions. Is. Society, willing to take on, for. The sake of economic progress I don't, know, would. You reconsider. The. Autumn of the private, automobile, reflecting. On the cost, in lives I would, strongly. Consider. Alternative. Measures like slowing down speed, limits, perhaps, cutting down. Or. Implementing. Measures against, a drink driving use, of mobile phones and. Well. While, we're using my, way now cars. But. I'm not sure. Ultimately. Thank. You for that Larsen, also. At the medical school Sheila, what do you think kind of along similar, lines I, guess as. A, physician. And as a healthcare worker I think the analogy is is a bit different in that, I. I. Can't catch anybody for, anything, from anybody in a motor vehicle accident I can certainly catch the virus from, training somebody with. Koban and you. Know thinking, about myself my family my co-workers, my friends. Who, are all working in the same healthcare, setting I think, it's not comparable. I think the risks, to. Health. Care workers and to. Society. In, terms of impact. On healthcare workers is different. In this case alright, so there there is an effect, on. The. Healthcare providers, and others. Which. Is not not, the case in car, accidents, tragic though they are let's. Let's. Hear now from someone. Who disagrees, someone. Who, we've. Heard a number of people who object to. The. Analogy. With, car accidents who who think we should not, be. Willing to put up with 40,000. Deaths to reopen the economy, but. About. Half close to half the group. Voted. In favor, so let's now hear from someone, who has a reply to these arguments, who. Thinks that we. Should be willing, to. Put, up with save, 40,000. Deaths in order, to, get the economy going. Again. Angela. At the Harvard Business School, thanks. So I. Understand. The question I understand. Sheila and Lawson's kind of concerns and you, don't necessarily know for, sure that it's 40,000, but in the hypothetical we. Know for sure I would, say yes, we should reopen my, understanding. Is that the, flu takes somewhere, between 30, and 60,000, lives each year which. Seems a little bit more comparable. Than, car, accidents because it's the same kind of choices that are being made and. Then, the other thing I would I would want to think about here is the. Cost of the shutdown has, significant, impact on lives as well so. If we are keeping the economy shut, down that's, likely. Somewhere, in the 10 to 50 thousand life. Range, probably harder to quantify that. But. Realistically. Not knowing those things and knowing that we do this each year for the flu it seems like our society has already said this is something we're comfortable with at that death rate so, it seems to make sense so. Angela, makes. The case in favor, it. Speaking. As a as. A joint. HBS, Kennedy. School student if I have it right, let's go back to Lawson, at the medical school you've, heard what Angela has, said, what's.
Your Reply Lawson, I'm still troubled by this notion of how. Much how many concessions, is society, willing to, make. In. Order for, there. To be some, sort of, outcome. That outweighs the risks of that initial, concession. It's. It's something that is very deeply troubling I read, that. Some. Economic, modeling which suggests that over 20, million people worldwide. Well. Additional, people worldwide for. Come. By. Technical. Definition, pour as a result, of the, current pandemic and. So. At. Some point there needs to be a, reopening. Of the economy, I just don't know when that will be or when. That should be all right Nadia, did you have a quick reply I did I think I'm going back to the notion I keep on going next the notion of autonomy, and ability. And, access to resources. To combat this disease in. The flu comparing. To the flu that's exactly what I was thinking in. That we've now researched, that, disease we now have, seen how it affects how. It affects people how. It affects populations, how, it can spread and yes well it does change in and. Well. It does like alter each year and, hence, why we get our vaccines each year we, had those vaccines available I mean while we don't for koban 19 at the moment and currently so I'm. More. Willing to make that consume make the concession to the you know 40,000, desk you know keeping in. The range of of you know the food how many Desilu takes took 34,000, back in the 2019, season. I'd. Be more willing to concede, in, in, that case if we knew that there were measures, out to the public that were accessible, to folks but. As we don't right now I think that's what's preventing, me from giving. In to that concession thank you Nadia for that we've been discussing in a way cost-benefit. Analysis, where. Their numbers of lives, hypothetically. Can, be compared, with other kinds, of benefits including, as Angela, points out the. Benefits of opening, the economy. We've. Been considering, some hypothetical. Examples, I'd like to now turn to. Something. That is very actual, and immediate, many. Of us in, order to avoid, the risk of. Going. Into grocery. Stores where we may come in contact with, people, with. The virus where, we may find it hard to maintain social distancing, many, of us are. Relying, on. Shoppers. And delivery, services. Which. Essentially. Means if, you think about it I suppose, that. We are paying, other people. To. Take the risk for. Us. Now. I'd like to ask what, people think, about this, is, it, ethically. Objectionable. To. Hire. A. Shopper. Or. Someone. Who works for a gig, someone. In the gig economy. To. Go, do our shopping for. Us to. Pay them in effect. To. Take the risk for us is that ethically, objectionable. Or not, a, lot. Of us are doing it how. Many find it ethically, objectionable. If you do vote yes if, you. Don't find it ethically, objectionable. Vote, no, let's, see what people think about what. Some describe is. Outsourcing. The, risk. Fairly. Evenly divided here, the majority.
Do, Not find it ethically. Objectionable. Though. A substantial. Portion do. Find it objectionable. I would say, it's roughly. 55. Percent object, 45, do do, not let's. Begin. With those. Those. Who said yes it is objectionable. What exactly. Is ethically. Objectionable. About hiring. Someone when. He's a job who's. Willing to go, into the grocery store, with our lists and. Bring the food to our door, Lorenzo. In a Harvard College what do you think well yes my objection, is let's on the individual. Who's doing the hiring and, more on the the ways society, is structured to allow that sort of, situation. To happen in the first place I'm, just thinking of a hypothetical, situation of. Say. Someone who is you. Know rather you, know on the lower, end of the income. Spectrum, and who really really needs the money I don't think, that. Society, should, be. Structured. In a way such, that they would, feel as though to feed their children they would feel the need to go, out and. Essentially. Be hired to go and take, a public health risk for other people right given. The range of choices different workers face though today, and you. May and. You're pointing to some, what, you take to be in justices. Underlying. Those. Different, choices, that workers have. Given. The inequalities. That exist today, that. Impel. Some people to take on jobs that others. Would. Not. Do. You think it's wrong to, hire someone. Who wants that job. To. Go. Collect, groceries, and deliver. Them you, think that's wrong I would say that I, would. Still think that, you might, be one. Ought to go one step if, one can I think if you can't I think that's a different story but if you can even, if someone you. Know is willing, and able I don't think putting someone, else's life. In day is, necessarily. Morally. The. Right thing to do thank. You for that Lorenzo, Dan. In. The, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Dan, says, I find it objectionable. Although, we do it I think. I can tolerate it, because I. Imagine. The job was already there and, also. I wish I worked in healthcare so I could help more, very. Good all right thank you for that damn brick. Tea in Harvard, College what do you think I think it, is.
Unethical. And, I understand, as Carolina said that we already do it even would like to Fisk Chemical cleanups etc but, just, because we. Are doing it and that that's what our society is and that's how functions, doesn't mean that's the way that it should be. We're. Basically trading. Money for a life and, whereas. If. Firefighters. Or police officers, people, who choose, to get into that line of work. If. The. Trade it just doesn't make me it makes me uncomfortable that we're trading off life, for. Money especially for the people who can actually go out and buy groceries, but, they want that extra safety, net um so. I know that people are still gonna do it and I guess maybe. If I if I could afford to I might, but. That doesn't mean it's right okay, so Ricky. And others are made. Uneasy. Morally, uneasy, with, paying, people to risk their health in. Their lives I had. That right brick tea let's. Let's see now who, who. Has a reply, who. Thinks, it's morally, acceptable, to. Hire. People. To go out and undertake, risks, and do the shopping for for, the rest of us and, 10 reply to the arguments, that Ricky, and others. Have. Made. Alana. At Harvard Business School I think, it is morally acceptable as. Long as you believe got, the person taking that risk is making an informed choice, poor. Choice and that, I think will depend in both the quality of the social safety not in the geography, they're operating. As well as their education, I'd, also like to add that we already, operate, in a system, where we pay others to take risks, in. The sense we buy insurance you, could also say to some degree it's, unethical to buy instruments, because you're transferring, our risks to somebody else or even, perhaps, seeking. Medical care you. Go seek medical care you're placing the doctor who's treating you at risk because, they might get the virus that you have and so, to some degree I think you can compare these phenomena. All. Right so let's, come back let's, bring Ricky back in you've heard what Elan and said. We. So, long as there is informed, consent an, Elan. Also added, a safety, net so that people are not forced, into these jobs out of utter desperation, Alana, is it right have that right. Ricky. What do you say to Ilan I think, in those cases it would be acceptable, except, for the fact that people are not just going out currently, and this time when, they're being told to stay home just. Because they want to like, they're doing it because that's their way of like survival, and I, know we could bring up so many examples of, the ways that we read you do things like this but like I my. Point is just because that's, the way we do it doesn't mean it's right and I I understand, that it's, impossible. To be. Ethically, correct in all parts of our life because then that would just mean we're perfect society but, still like this especially, in this, time right now like with co19 this. Payment. When, we could go and do it ourselves because, if we're in a hospital it's not like we can do. Pure. Self but here we, can go out and buy groceries ourselves, but instead we're transferring, that risk and. That that risk is more, than just like somebody. Slipping and falling or etc this is the they. Could die their children, could die their other family members could die and no. One's going trying, to stack up on money which I'm sure some are some, people are trying, to do it's purely for survival, alone what do you think I think, that's right I guess the assumption I had in my argument was that a sufficient, social safety net exists, such. That people aren't forced into that decision.
I Think, it's also improper. To assume that, everyone, who wants to do it does it because they want to survive I think some people might have for, example an, ethical. Imperative in which they want to help others there, are a lot of nonprofits. Such organizations. They go shopping for others and I'd. Be curious to hear if you think there's an ethical difference based. On the fact whether you're paying someone, or, not to go by your Suri's what about that brick piece someone who does it as a, volunteer. Activity. Then. I think they're choosing, that to help others and I don't think there's an ethical issue in fact I think, you. Know cross to them like think like I actually there should be thanks, given to them however. There's. A difference, between the people that are buying it I think someone mentioned this because, they need. It and like they're older and they can't go out because they're actually, they. Would get hurt and, then the people that are choosing to because it's, just, safer and they don't have any issues right now but, they're thinking long term and they can afford to pay others to take that long term risk for them I think there's an issue there thank. You for that Jonathan, in in, the Harvard Law School what do you think as long as people are fun some way to compensate one another for the, risks that others take is a form of service no, one's autonomy, or even dignity is really being violated. So. Not, only would we be respecting, people sensitive individual 'ti but, there's also a powerful consequentialist. Argument that this benefits everyone because it minimizes the total amount, of risk on the collective, a few where people are going out and shopping for themselves a smaller, number of people are able to take on those risks and reduce. The amount of cross transmission, so this also offers a mechanism, to more efficiently, allocate risks, in a way that not only maintains. Autonomy, but might even actually, strengthen, it by making sure that people are being acknowledged, for the service, that they're willing to do and perform for other people let, me shift to another example that, would seem to fit Jonathan. With your. Notion. Of respecting people's, autonomy, letting. People choose what risk to take, provided. They're. Fully. Informed, that was one of the requirements Ilan added. The race is on now of course to develop a vaccine for. Kovac, 19, and, the. Testing, process requires. Four. Promising, candidates. To. Test the vaccine on, human. Subjects, and. Many. Testing. Labs are, now recruiting. Test. Subjects. By. Paying them by, hiring them people, willing, to be. Tested. For a, possible. Vaccine, for kovat nineteen healthy, people not people who this. Is not a treatment, for people who already have the condition it's. Paying, people to take the test I. Want, to come back Jonathan's standby I want to come back and get your view on this but first let's take a vote on whether, people. Find, it, morally. Permissible, or morally objectionable to. Pay. Test. Subjects. To test the, vaccine, for. COBIT 19, if, it's morally permissible. Vote. Yes, if you think it's morally objectionable. Vote, no, we'll see what people think. Well. The votes are coming in and on this one by. A very substantial. Margin. More. Than three to one. This. Groupthink thinks. It's morally, permissible, to. Pay people to. Test. The. Vaccine. Jonathan, while we still have you how did you vote I voted in favor of paying, people to try. Vaccine, and that's insistent with the argument, you made preview, in the previous case about respecting. The autonomy, of people, to make these decisions, provided. Their consent, is informed, that's. Right and provided, there one taken, care of by, medical, experts to the best of their ability and two kept, in a controlled environment so, they can't impose a burden on other people with their choice. Okay. Now, I want to hear from someone, who thinks. It's morally objectionable to. Pay people to undergo. Testing paying, people to go out and do your grocery shopping what, about paying people to, test. The vaccine brick tea did you vote that it was morally permissible to, pay people to, test. Vaccines, are morally, objectionable oh, I, said it was morally, permissible because, good okay so you okay, so, because I still don't think it's ethical, but it is practical. And therefore, should be morally, permissible because, otherwise, then we need to be putting everyone, else at risk and I. Guess. It's also that we're not the ones paying them, to. Take. To. Get tested, for it it's a company, that's doing that well wait wait wait wait. Wait. Wait wait wait that suppose you're the head of a company a testing. Company or a pharmaceutical, company that has, what. Looks like a promising vaccine. And, you, need to test it and you need to test it as fast as possible might, ask for volunteers but you don't have enough.
Would. You or would your not pay. People. To test, the vaccine you're, the head of the company yes, so I I, would I would because, I think it's different, than the grocery shopping because that I'm only concerned about myself and you. Can tell yourself that your to reduce the risk of like the whole society but, really you're just trying to reduce your own risk of and, your family's, risk of getting the disease while, in this case you're trying to actually, minimize. The. Amount of people who are going to be hurt uh-huh okay. All right that's an interesting, distinction now let's hear from someone who objects. In principle, to paying people to. Test. The vaccine who, objects, to. Paying. People to test, the, vaccine Samina. At the Harvard Medical School, so. Um my, objection. Is really based off of the previous comments, that I've been hearing about this. Idea of consent, and what it really means to consent. Autonomously, for. Someone who is paying for the vaccine, I'm for. With a risk benefit, that we really don't know at this point, does. That consent, really go back to what, other people mentioned as structural, barriers. That might require them for, them to need that money and I think that's morally different, than something like someone, doing. A delivery service based. Off of the risk benefit, profile that people have outlined but also based off of the structures, that we currently. Have in place to. Allow people to again. Like choose whether, or not they you, know engage in certain activities this. Idea of consent, really bugs, me and makes this morally, objectionable. Just, because of you know who, are we really targeting. Like is this disproportionately. Affecting, people, of different races of different, socio-economic brackets. Who, is voluntarily, paying, to you. Know undergo a vaccine, trial and what. You know what does this say about the kind of of, course, we live in a non-ideal society but what does this say about where, we're going in terms of um you know either, you know widening the socio-economic, inequalities. That we currently face Thank, You Samina for that I would like now to bring in. Two. Of our participants. Who. Have actually, gone through the experience, of. Contracting. Cope at 19, and. Thankfully. Blessedly, have merged, and made. A recovery and are joining us as. Participants, in this discussion, tonight Larry and Adel back, out can we bring you in and I one if if. One or both of you would like to. Give. Whatever reflections. You have on the ethical. Discussions. That, the, ethical, debates and dilemmas, that we've been considering, this evening, well first of all Michael thank you very much for hosting this event on behalf of all of us who have had a chance to participate and.
Learn, From you it's been an interesting. And enlightening conversation. Also, like to thank all the students, and other members of our community, who participated. In this in, this conversation, I have. A number of thoughts but I'll try and be brief we. Live in an imperfect world I think we would all acknowledge that almost, everyone, who commented tonight. Said we. Would like the world to be better and I think that is our responsibility collectively. To try and and make, it better but. We it, I'm, struck, by, how. All, of the choices that we seem to face. In dealing. With this particular problem, our. Bad, choices. None. Are obvious, none, is. Clearly. The right thing to do. But. Act we, must. We. Don't have the luxury of just saying the, problem is too hard we. Can't deal with it so, we, will deal with it we'll struggle with it, we'll. Try and make the best choices that we can I think, all of us would like to live, in a world, in. Which we could wave away. These. These, difficult, decisions but, I as. This, conversation. Has, so, clearly. Helped. Us all realize, that's. Not a luxury in which any of us enjoy. At the moment. I. Was particularly, struck by the range, and diversity of people, who cared enough about this topic. To participate. In your really, stimulating, conversation. Tonight so. When I see students, and faculty from the business school from the medical school from the law school from the Kennedy School it just, reinforces, how important. It is to have a multidisciplinary, approach. To, think, about ethics to think about science to think about. Policies to help us get through this pandemic so I encourage. All of the students, and faculty who are working so hard and thinking so hard about these students to, continue your good work because we need you now more than ever well, thank you thanks, to you both for joining us for this discussion and. How. How, grateful we are that you. Are through this experience. And back. At the health thank, you so much Larry and Adele and. A, final. Word to, the, group as a whole I would really want to thank all of you for joining us in what is an experiment. In ordinary. Times we would have convened, a discussion like this in Sanders.
Theater We would have been physically, present, to, one another but. It strikes me that the spirit in which all, of us all of you, were. Listening to one another. Responding. To one another even, where there were disagreements, often. A model, of the kind of recent, public, discourse, that we need, in our society certainly. At this moment, of crisis, but, also for, a healthy, civic, life beyond. The crisis, thank, you. You.