How to Handle Trade-Offs in Pandemics
Pandemics and other similar crises force us to make difficult moral trade-offs. It is tempting to think that this challenge should be met by invoking fundamental moral principles. This is a mistake. Instead, we need to work hard at designing institutions that enable the officeholders to make reasonable decisions under both fundamental ethical disagreement and empirical/evaluative uncertainty. It is argued that this is best done by supplementing the ethical-cum-legal platforms already in use with an ethical framework inspired by social welfare theory.