Ethics in Action Podcast


Setting Priorities in a Pandemic: Who Gets Care? When do We Open the Economy? A conversation with J Hughes

April 9, 2020

What are the moral criteria for triaging patients when the healthcare system is overwhelmed? How is Massachusetts thinking about this? And, more broadly, what is the appropriate balance between preserving public health and limiting an economic meltdown?

Please note: the last 3 minutes of this conversation are missing due to a Zoom malfunction. So it ends a bit abruptly. But the important stuff is all there!   

James Hughes is a senior research fellow at the UMass Boston Applied Ethics Center. He is a bioethicist and sociologist who serves as the associate provost for institutional research, assessment, and planning at UMass Boston. He holds a doctorate in sociology from the University of Chicago where he taught bioethics at the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics. Since then, he has taught health policy, bioethics, medical sociology, and research methods at Northwestern University, the University of Connecticut, and Trinity College. He is the author of Citizen Cyborg: Why Democratic Societies Must Respond to the Redesigned Human of the Future (2004) and is the co-editor of Surviving the Machine Age: Intelligent Technology and the Transformation of Human Work (2017). In 2005 he co-founded the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies (IEET) with Oxford philosopher Nick Bostrom, and since then has served as its executive director. Hughes serves as associate editor of the Journal of Evolution and Technology, and as co-founder of the Journal of Posthuman Studies. He is also a fellow of the World Academy of Arts and Sciences, a member of Humanity+, the Neuroethics Society, the American Society of Bioethics and Humanities, and the Working Group on Ethics and Technology at Yale University, and served on the State of Connecticut’s Regenerative Medicine Research Advisory Committee. He speaks on medical ethics, health care policy, and future studies worldwide. 


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