Satoshi Kodama

“Ethical Challenges of the Covid-19 Pandemic: A Japanese Perspective”

Date: Monday, 14 March 2022
Time: 9:15 CET (17:15 JST)

The lecture focuses on how Japan experienced the Covid-19 pandemic, presenting the various challenges that the country faced and the measures that the national government enacted to stop the spread of the virus. Contrary to other countries, the Japanese government lacks the legislative power to enforce a strong nationwide lockdown, and the declaration of the state of emergency is the only way for the prefectures to have the authority to issue effectively binding instructions. Then, that opens the possibility to explore the pandemic from the perspective of disaster preparedness and management, the ethical challenges that these events pose, and how the pandemics relate to other crises. Furthermore, the Covid-19 pandemic has been characterized by the increasing use of digital technologies to fight and control the spread of the illness. This reality also comes with a set of unique ethical challenges, and this presentation aims to present the ones that Japan as a country faced. Finally, the discussion will touch on the stress that the spread of the virus and an increase in the hospitalization rate might create. In particular, it will focus on the theme of ICU triage and the ethical debates that go together with it.