Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Sunday 24 January |
Saint of the Day: St. Francis de Sales
home iconIssues & Implications
line break icon

A pro-life perspective on managing the COVID-19 pandemic

CORONAVIRUS

real_content | Shutterstock

Fr. Nicanor Austriaco, OP - published on 05/08/20

Is striving for herd immunity, regardless of the human "culling" that may be required, ethical?

Why not just let the virus “burn through” the population to shorten the time needed to acquire herd immunity? We would protect the vulnerable and elderly, of course. This way we would just get the virus over with.

An increasing number of voices propose that this is what societies have to do to move quickly beyond this pandemic. They point to the experience of Sweden to bolster their claims that this strategy would work. It would preserve both health and wealth.

Note that whether we adopt this pandemic strategy or not is not a scientific question – though science has to inform the intellect so that it can judge wisely – but an ethical and a political one. Therefore, we need to begin by clarifying the ethical principles that we will need to make this prudential judgment.

Which ethical and social principles would the Catholic moral tradition propose to guide us here? I think that there are at least two. Both of these moral principles are the foundational pillars for the pro-life worldview.

First, we are called to acknowledge and respect the intrinsic dignity of each and every human organism. Because of this dignity, every human organism is priceless. Every human organism is inestimable. We all have this “beyond-price” value/worth/status because every human organism is made in the image and likeness of God with an intellectual nature that allows us to know and to love.

Therefore the Down syndrome fetal human, the 90-year-old person with dementia living in a nursing home, and the 45-year old who is also the managing partner of the mid-town NY law firm all have equal value. They all have equal moral status. They are all created equal regardless of their social contribution, their social role, or their social success, or lack thereof. We have to try to protect them equally well during a pandemic.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in eight languages: English, French, Arabic, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
LUXOR FILM FESTIVAL
Zoe Romanowsky
20-year-old filmmaker wins award for powerful 1-minute film about...
2
DAD, HOW DO I?
Cerith Gardiner
Meet the dad who's teaching basic skills on YouTube for kids with...
3
Philip Kosloski
What are the corporal works of mercy?
4
Philip Kosloski
When did Christians start praying the Hail Mary?
5
PHILIP RIVERS
Cerith Gardiner
Quarterback Philip Rivers' retirement announcement reflects his s...
6
CONSOLE
Philip Kosloski
What are the spiritual works of mercy?
7
EMOTIONAL
Bret Thoman, OFS
Need healing? An exorcist recommends this 12-word prayer
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.