COVID-19 大流行引發之醫療倫理議題 Ethical Issues Related to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Cho-Yu Chan

COVID-19 造成近世紀以來最嚴重的全球大流行。疫情期間發生許多當今醫護人員從未經歷過的困境,導致許多前所未有的倫理抉擇兩難,也引發以下新的倫理思維:(1)染疫人數遽增引發醫療資源嚴重短缺,「行善」原則從以個人為中心轉向以人群為中心,醫療資源分配以利益最大化為首要,甚至超越「尊重自主」、「不傷害」及「公正」等基本生命倫理原則;(2)疫情重創醫療人員的身、心、靈,在此非常時期醫療人員更需發揮「利他精神」,但同時要給予其充分的個人防護設施。(3)疫苗和新藥研發在前所未有地加快速度的同時,仍須遵循Belmont Report 的倫理原則,對研究參與者須有額外的保護。


COVID-19 caused the most serious global pandemic in recent century. During this period, many difficult situations that medical staff have never experienced before have caused many unprecedented ethical dilemmas, and also triggered the following new ethical reasoning principles: (1) The rapid increase in the number of infected people has caused a serious shortage of medical resources, and the principle of “beneficence” is changed from individual-centered to population-centered, the distribution of medical resources focuses on the maximization of benefits, and even goes beyond other basic bioethical principles
such as “autonomy”, “non-maleficence”, and “justice”. (2) The pandemic has physically and psychologically spoiled the front-line medical staff. In this extraordinary period, medical staff need to exert their “altruistic spirit”, but at the same time, they must be provided adequate personal protection equipment. (3) While the research and development of vaccines and new drugs is accelerating as never before, the ethical principles of the Belmont Report must still be
followed, and additional protections must be provided for research participants.