Home > Research > Publications & Outputs > Neither ‘Crisis Light’ nor ‘Business as Usual’


Text available via DOI:

View graph of relations

Neither ‘Crisis Light’ nor ‘Business as Usual’: Considering the Distinctive Ethical Issues Raised by the Contingency and Reset Phases of a Pandemic

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

E-pub ahead of print
  • Lucy Frith
  • Heather Draper
  • Sara Fovargue
  • Paul Baines
  • Caroline Redhead
  • Anna Chiumento
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>27/07/2021
<mark>Journal</mark>American Journal of Bioethics
Issue number8
Number of pages4
Pages (from-to)34-37
Publication StatusE-pub ahead of print
Early online date27/07/21
<mark>Original language</mark>English


We have been researching the distinctive ethical issues raised by what we have called “the reset period,” when non-Covid services resumed alongside the continuing pandemic in the UK. In this commentary, we will first consider the similarities and differences between the reset and contingency phases, as described by Alfandre et al. We will then unpack Alfandre et al.’s position that the contingency phase should be characterized by operating a standard of care that is functionally equivalent to “usual” practice, arguing that in the reset and contingency phases, the standards of “usual” care may be unobtainable and, in these circumstances, we cannot fall back on the primacy of “patient centered care.” Consequently, different ethical principles and balancing strategies are needed when care is neither “crisis light” nor “business as usual.” We will conclude by reflecting on what these should be.