Ethical Thinking In The COVID-19 Pandemic

Between May 14th and the 27th, scholars from Bradley University and OSF HealthCare collaborated to provide timely analysis of the COVID-19 Pandemic in a virtual colloquium. The four scholars assessed a variety of pressing issues about dealing with the pandemic in society, with an emphasis on how communities can think ethically in the health emergencies that we face.

The colloquium was recorded as a two-hour video that begins with four separate twelve-minute presentations, and is followed by an interactive Zoom discussion between the panelists for the second hour.

Participants Include:

Valerie Bennett, Ph.D., Director, Health Professions Advising Center, Bradley University

Joseph Piccione, Ph.D., Senior Vice President of Ethics, OSF HealthCare

Craig Curtis, Ph.D., Professor of Political Science, Bradley University

Kevin O’Brien, Ph.D., Professor of Economics, Bradley University

Structure of the Video and Time

Part I Presentations

Introduction 00.00-04.17

Dr. Valerie Bennett 04.17-17.12

How do health experts define ‘healthy life,’ both in ordinary times and in emergencies, and how can non-experts play a helpful role in public health emergencies like the Pandemic?

Dr. Joseph Piccione 17.12-28.10

What is the common good with regard to: a) community health, b) social distancing, and c) attention to all persons in the community, particularly to persons and population groups that struggle with healthcare access?

Dr. Craig Curtis 28.10-40.15

What is the common good regarding persons struggling with healthcare access, and what are the ethical steps to preventing future health emergencies—politically, economically, and medically?

Dr. Kevin O’Brien 40.15-57.30

What do we mean by reopening the economy, and what are the risks of reopening?

Part II Panel Discussion

Respondents to Questions

Dr. Valerie Bennett            59.30-1.14.40

Dr. Joseph Piccione          1.14.48-1.26.45

Dr. Craig Curtis                  1.27.04-1.40.17

Dr. Kevin O’Brien               1.40.30-1.57.12

For Information on this colloquium, or on the Bradley Ethics Program, please contact Dr. Andrew Kelley, the Department of Philosophy & Religious Studies, Bradley University. (309) 677-2445,

Some media in Bradley University's current print, video and online materials was acquired before the COVID-19 pandemic. Media acquired after the pandemic began was done so in compliance with Bradley's COVID-19 safety protocols at the time. The ongoing safety of our faculty, staff and students is of the utmost concern during these unprecedented times.