Technik Theologie Naturwissenschaften



"What's the Damage? Proportionality and the Ethics of Crisis Response"

Therese Feiler gave a talk at the ScanBalt Forum 2020. It is available here:


Download full talk here

The Covid-crisis is perceived as an example of preventive medicine, the chance to install a new digital health economy and to increase cross-border cooperation in terms of medical data exchange. This paper approaches the field from the perspective of ethics, drawing on authors such as Oliver O’Donovan, Francisco de Vitoria and Immanuel Kant. It focusses on the principle of proportionality, which will be revisited both with a view to the Covid-response and personalised medicine. I argue that proportionality tends to be exclusively determined in a forward-looking manner, with reference to a particular aim. However, in order to prevent mission creep, contradictions and subsequent, disproportionate damage, the principle of proportionality also needs to be applied retrospectively. Moral agents need to ask: What is the actual damage? From this, a couple of remarks on P4-medicine and the planned joint declaration of the ScanBalt Forum will follow.