The latest rationalization for the list came to my attention when I used it myself.
I have been reading various opinion pieces and reports about the stance of anti-vaxxers as researchers push to develop a vaccine as quickly as possible for the Wuhan virus. A Daily Beast essay cautioned that the need for haste had to be balanced against the consequences of failure:
“Urgent as the need is, public health leaders warn, moving too quickly could have disastrous consequences not only for reining in COVID-19, but for vaccines more broadly. If a vaccine is released that doesn’t work well or yields dangerous side effects—especially in the face of an historic pandemic—it could empower anti-vaccine activists and reduce support for other longstanding vaccines that have gone through rigorous and exhaustive testing”
My reaction to that was instant: “What sense does it make to moderate your efforts to solve an urgent problem because you are worried about a possible future irrational reaction to an adverse result? “You cross that bridge when (and if) you come to it,” I thought. Then the faint sound of an ethics alarm ringing caught my attention. Continue reading