Giustizia distributiva, scarsità di risorse e Covid-19: sfide etiche e giuridiche

Laura Palazzani153-167

Abstract: Distributive Justice and Covid-19: Ethical and Legal Challenges

In the context of the Covid-19 pandemic the question of justice is central. The problem of the distribution of scarce resources revealed itself in a dramatic way from the very beginning due to the exponential growth of the infection and the scarcity of available resources. There is agreement on the fact that distribution of limited resources should be “just”, according to the shared meaning of justice as “not to harm others” and to “give each his/her own”. But, within the pluralist discussion, the different ways of conceiving justice on a theoretical level (within a libertarian, utilitarian, or egalitarian perspective) have different and opposing implications. The distribution of scarce resources (ventilators, beds in intensive care units) and the selection of patients for prioritization for access to treatments are key issues in the bioethical discussion today, both during the first wave and the second of the pandemic. The debate has been and is still intense on a national and international level. The article will focus on the debate within bioethical theories, Scientific Societies of Intensivists and Committees of Bioethics both at national, European and international level. The aim is to argue the incompatibility of libertarian and utilitarian view with human rights framework. The author exposes the common shared need to find new paths to identify a global dimension of justice, respectful – in the human rights framework – of the principle of the equality of every human being integrated with equity, recognising the fundamental right to treatment and care, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, as well as a duty of solidarity towards the most vulnerable.