On the ethical dilemma of Filipino healthcare professionals amidst the COVID-19 pandemic: An alternative perspective

Bernardo N. Caslib, Jr.


Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to medical and non-medical issues. One of the subtler but equally important issues are the ethical ones. Most prominent among these is the ethical dilemma of health care professionals faced with the decision of whether or not they should continue working and serving the country despite the risks.

Objectives: This paper intends to analyze the said bioethical dilemma by first, examining the ethical
conundrum and defining its parameters; second, by assessing a previous attempt to arbitrate this issue and in the process, evaluating two different theories in ethics: egoism and Christian ethics; and third, by proposing a more nuanced normative ethical framework to fully understand the moral picture.

Methodology: The paper employs the interpretive and analytical approach in philosophy and ethics, citing available literature, data, and sources to reinforce its arguments.

Results: The bioethical dilemma of healthcare professionals cannot be completely analyzed using the lens of egoism and Christian ethics as previously asserted by another scholar. A fuller understanding can be reached by using an Aristotelian normative framework as an anchor for analysis.

Conclusion: All healthcare professionals want the good. While a dilemma may ensue because of conflict of values (e.g. for work and for safety), Aristotelian ethics subscribes to the need for hitting the mean between two extremes by honing one's practical wisdom and deliberation. Healthcare professionals exercise this faculty in confronting their dilemma.


Aristotelian ethics; bioethics; COVID-19; healthcare professionals

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Print ISSN: 2704-3517; Online ISSN: 2738-042X