UCL Faculty of Laws


Professor Sir Jonathan Montgomery speaks about UK’s approach to Covid ethics governance

2 June 2021

The Deutscher Ethikrat event on ‘International Perspectives on Pandemic Preparedness and Response’ featured a panel of international experts who spoke about the experiences of different countries during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Jonathan Montgomery

On 28 May 2021, Professor Sir Jonathan Montgomery (Professor of Healthcare Law at UCL Laws) addressed the Deutscher Ethikrat – the German National Ethics Council – on the UK’s approach to ethical governance during Covid-19.

The presentation covered the UK’s ethical preparedness prior to the Covid-19 pandemic; decision-making in ethical governance; and challenges in “public ethics” during a pandemic – specifically political concerns, ethical disagreements and legal risks.

Professor Montgomery also spoke about the role of the Moral and Ethical Advisory Group (of which he is Co-Chair) in providing confidential advice to civil servants and health service bodies. Professor Montgomery went on to explain how specific groups were established to address ethical issues in relation to specific tasks and initiatives, using the example of the Ethics Advisory Board on the UK’s proposed contact tracing app (which he chaired in 2020).

The event ended with a question-and-answer session involving all speakers, followed by closing remarks by Alena Buyx, Chair of the German Ethics Council.

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