Going Viral

How Many Deaths Are Too Many?

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Episode notes

From the outset of the Covid-19 pandemic, the British Government made it clear that a baseline level of mortality from Covid was being “priced in” to its decision making: on March 12th 2020, the Boris Johnson stopped short of ordering the sort of lockdowns seen in other countries and warned that, “many more families are going to lose loved ones before their time.” This approach belied a series of value judgements and trade-offs where people’s lives were set against other values, such as personal liberty and the economy. Today Mark and his guests Anjana Ahuja, Martin McKee and Dominic Wilkinson, reappraise this approach. With Ceinwen Giles and Matt Fowler. Produced in collaboration with the UK Pandemic Ethics Accelerator.

Presented by Mark Honigsbaum @honigsbaum


Anjana Ahuja

 Contributing writer on science for the Financial Times and co-author of the bestselling ‘Spike: The Virus Vs The People’ - the inside story of the Covid-19 pandemic with Sir Jeremy Farrar.

https://www.ft.com/anjana-ahuja  /  @anjahuja

Ceinwen Giles

Co-CEO of Shine Cancer Support, member of the General Advisory Council of The King's Fund and Chair of the Patient and Public Voices Forum for the NHS England Cancer Programme.

www.shinecancersupport.org / @ceineken

Professor Martin McKee

Professor of European Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Martin is Research Director of the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies and he’s published many scientific papers and books on health and health policy, with a particular focus on countries undergoing political and social transition.

www.lshtm.ac.uk/aboutus/people/mckee.martin / @martinmckee

Matt Fowler

Co-Founder of Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice.

www.jrct.org.uk/covid-19-bereaved-families  / @CovidJusticeUK

Professor Dominic Wilkinson

Professor of Medical Ethics and Director of Medical Ethics at the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics. Dominic is also a Consultant Neonatologist at the John Radcliffe Hospital and a Senior Research Fellow at Jesus College. He is one the editors of a forthcoming book with Oxford University Press on pandemic ethics.

www.jesus.ox.ac.uk/about-jesus-college/our-community/people/professor-dominic-wilkinson/ / @NeonatalEthics

Series Producer: Melissa FitzGerald @Melissafitzg

Co-producer: Kate Jopling  @katejopling

Cover art by Patrick Blower. www.blowercartoons.com

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This episode of Going Viral on trust in the pandemic, has been produced in collaboration with the UK Pandemic Ethics Accelerator. A partnership between the Universities of Oxford, Bristol and Edinburgh, University College London, and the Nuffield Council on Bioethics (the Principal Investigator was Professor Ilina Singh, University of Oxford). The Ethics Accelerator was funded by the UKRI Covid-19 research and innovation fund. 

https://ukpandemicethics.org/   /  @PandemicEthics_

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