Dear Ethics Society Member:
Despite the pandemic, your Board has remained in contact and is making plans for our 2020-2021 season. The website will soon reflect these plans, but before that, I would like to bring you up to date about our activities.
The Board has met online periodically by Zoom technology over the summer. On June 10th we used the same technology to hold a general Society meeting on “COVID-19, Topics of Ethical Concern to Hilton Head Island and the Greater Surrounding Region,” moderated by Director Dave Mortimer. Forty-two of you attended that meeting, and the online exchange was quite successful in my view. It produced an online exchange that touched on several issues, including the ethics of transparency, individual rights and responsibilities, social distancing, opening the economy, leadership, etc., relating to the pandemic.
At present it looks very likely that we will need to rely on Zoom technology this fall and perhaps longer, to conduct our general meetings. Our June meeting taught us this is possible and for all of us it is preferable as long as the cases of COVID-19 infections remain high in our region.
Our first meeting will not be until the first Wednesday of October (October 7th), so we have some time to monitor the disease before reaching that conclusion. In September we will post a notice on the website concerning where and how we shall meet. Concerning the October 7th meeting, the theme will be public health Issues. Thanks to Dave Mortimer, who did the research, made the contact, and moderated his interview with our Board, I am most pleased to report that our speaker will be Jonathan Knoche, MD, MPH, MSt, who is the medical consultant for the Division of Acute Disease Epidemiology of the SC Department of Health & Environmental Control. He will speak on “Competing Interests to National Security in a Pandemic: Personal Autonomy vs Social Responsibility.” I am sure you will find Dr. Knoche as interesting as he is knowledgeable on the issues of pandemic ethics.
We will devote our November 4th general meeting to a panel discussion on “Ethical Dilemmas in Health Care and the Treatment of COVID-19.” Director Isam Sakati has organized this meeting and will moderate the discussion. Dr. Roger Bernier, who edits and publishes The Epidemiology Monitor and is the Senior Advisor for Scientific Strategy and Innovation for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will share the panel with J. Phillip Saul, MD, a professor of pediatrics in the College of Medicine at MUSC. Thanks to Director Bill Byrne’s initiative, Attorney Jason Luckasevic will also join the panel. Mr. Luckasevic specializes in personal injury and medical malpractice issues and was the first attorney to file a concussion case against the NFL.
In February we will address the Economic or Related Issues of COVID-19 and in March we will quote author Margaret Wheatley’s question, “True or False: ‘Ethics is how we behave when we decide we belong together’” to address issues of Otherness and Community Identity.
We will reserve April and May for topics related to the pandemic that become timely then.
Gordon Haist, Director
October 2, 2020
November 4, 2020
February 3, 2021
March 3, 2021
April 7, 2021
May 5, 2021
Our mission is to become better informed ethically and to engage in meaningful discussion about the many complex issues of our time.