Hughes, JA (2020) Lockdown and levelling down: why Savulescu and Cameron are mistaken about selective isolation of the elderly. Journal of Medical Ethics, 46 (11). pp. 722-723. ISSN 1473-4257

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In their recent article, 'Why lockdown of the elderly is not ageist and why levelling down equality is wrong', Savulescu and Cameron argue for selective isolation of the elderly as an alternative to general lockdown. An important part of their argument is the claim that the latter amounts to 'levelling down equality' and that this is 'unethical' or even 'morally repugnant'. This response argues that they fail to justify either part of this claim: the claim that levelling down is always morally wrong is subject to challenges that Savulescu and Cameron do not consider; and a policy of maintaining general lockdown does not constitute levelling down, as it provides absolute benefits to those who would be worse off under selective isolation.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2020. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ. This article is made freely available for use in accordance with BMJ’s website terms and conditions for the duration of the covid-19 pandemic or until otherwise determined by BMJ. You may use, download and print the article for any lawful, non-commercial purpose (including text and data mining) provided that all copyright notices and trade marks are retained.
Uncontrolled Keywords: public health ethics; public policy
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman > HQ1050 Aged. Gerontology (Social aspects). Retirement
K Law > K Law (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Law
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 03 Sep 2020 13:10
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2020 14:36

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