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Different approach to medical decision-making in difficult circumstances: Kittay’s Ethics of Care


The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated advances in bioethical approaches to medical decision-making. This paper develops an alternative method for rationing care during periods of resource scarcity. Typical approaches to triaging rely on utilitarian calculations; however, this approach introduces a problematic antihumanist sentiment, inviting the proposition of alternative schemata. As such, we suggest a feminist approach to medical decision-making, founded in and expanding upon the framework of Eva Kittay’s Ethics of Care. We suggest that this new structure addresses the issue of medical decision-making during times of resource scarcity just as well as pure utilitarian approaches while better attending to their significant theoretical concerns, forming a coherent alternative to the current bioethical consensus.

  • COVID-19
  • autonomy
  • clinical ethics

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