COVID-19 Resources: Ethical, Legal & Social Implications

Last updated June 16, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic is posing profound ethical, legal, and social challenges. The Consortium is compiling relevant resources offered by our member centers and by other organizations to help researchers, clinicians, legal professionals, students, and communities navigate these challenges. As we grow this resource, we welcome your suggestions for additions; please email us at [email protected]

Work by the Consortium and Member Centers: 

Center for Bioethics
The Center has collaborated to produce foundational materials on pandemic ethics and crisis standards of care, including:

Debra DeBruin, PhD -- Ethics Guidance for Crisis Standards of Care: A Focus on Social Justice
Interim Director Debra DeBruin presents on crisis standards of care with a focus on social justice.

Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP)
Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource Center
“CIDRAP is tracking and analyzing the rapidly evolving novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The CIDRAP COVID-19 Resource Center provides a deep well of information for public health experts, business preparedness leaders, government officials, and the public.”

Center for Spirituality & Healing
COVID-19: Bakken Center Information and Resources 
“With a primary focus on health and wellbeing, the University of Minnesota’s Earl E. Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing has unique resources to offer the University and community during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI)
How we're supporting researchers during the COVID-19 pandemic.” 
"Research is the path forward in this global pandemic, and CTSI, like organizations around the world, is committed to accelerating these discoveries."

Institute on the Environment (IonE)
People & Planet: Conversations at the Intersection of Covid-19 and the Environment.” 
"Join us for a series of hosted digital forums with guests from the IonE community who will explore the intersections of COVID-19 and our changing global environment."

Minnesota COVID Ethics Consortium (MCEC) 
“The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), State Health Care Coordination Center (SHCCC), Minnesota Hospital Association (MHA), and the University of Minnesota will convene a statewide Minnesota COVID Ethics Collaborative (MCEC)…. This multidisciplinary group brings together experts from organizations across the state including ethics, law, public health, medicine, nursing, disaster planning, and spiritual care.”

Stem Cell Institute 
"SCI faculty are working on new diagnostics and therapeutics to address the COVID-19 outbreak."
“A summary of four new initiatives from SCI Faculty….”

University of Minnesota Genomics Center (UMGC)
SARS-CoV-2 Strain Sequencing
“The UMGC has developed a PCR amplicon-based sequencing service that leverages protocols developed by the ARTIC Network, while reducing cost and increasing throughput…. In brief, the method employs 95 PCR primers pairs to tile the SARS-CoV-2 genome with overlapping amplicons in a total of four multiplexed amplification reactions to achieve virtually complete genomic assembly. We are offering this service to both UMN researchers and external researchers at cost recovery rates, in order to help accelerate the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.” 

Additional websites and resources:


American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)
COVID-19: Overview and Evaluation – Pediatric Collection
Includes an extensive collection of published articles and other resources on issues affecting children.

American Association on Health and Disability (AAHD)
Resources for People with Disabilities on COVID-19 
“Listed…are products that AAHD has developed since March 2020 as well as resources from other organizations to best serve the disability community.”

American Bar Association (ABA)
COVID-19 Resources
“[T]he ABA Health Law Section, through its COVID-19 Task Force, has put together [a] list of resources to help you stay apprised of health law developments related to COVID-19.”

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG)
Topics: COVID-19
Collects several resources including their Position Statement on “Addressing Health Equity During the COVID-19 Pandemic.”

American Medical Association (AMA) 
COVID-19 health equity resources
“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the AMA is carefully compiling  critical health equity  resources from across the web  to shine a light on the structural issues that contribute to and could exacerbate already existing inequities.”

AMA Journal of Ethics
COVID-19 Ethics Resource Center
“As communities and nations work together to confront the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, difficult decisions lie ahead…. The following resources aim to promote ethical reflection and decision making during this pandemic.”

American Nurses Association (ANA)
ANA COVID-19 Resource Center
Offers multiple resources, including webinars.

American Public Health Association (APHA)
COVID-19 and Equity
“The COVID-19 pandemic is spotlighting the health inequities that already existed in the United States.” This website offers multiple resources.

American Public Health Association (APHA) and National Academy of Medicine (NAM) 
COVID-19 Conversations
“[T]his webinar series is exploring the state of the science surrounding the current outbreak of COVID-19 in the United States and globally, with a focus on the emerging evidence on how to best mitigate its impact. Hear from trusted experts in such fields as public health, infectious disease, risk communication, and crisis standards of care.”

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Offers extensive guidance across multiple settings, updated regularly.

Georgetown Law School, Workers Rights Institute
COVID-19: Resources for Workers
“The COVID-19 pandemic has created many challenges for workers and their families. This is a collection of resources intended to provide information regarding those challenges.”

Harvard University, Safra Center for Ethics
COVID-19 Response
“Our COVID-19 Response Initiative, a bipartisan group of experts in economics, public health, technology and ethics from across the country,” has created multiple resources.

The Hastings Center
Ethics Resources on the Coronavirus (COVID-19)
“As communities across the world work to navigate the pandemic, The Hastings Center has assembled ethics resources for responding to novel coronavirus Covid-19.”

Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics
Coronavirus Ethics and Policy Insights and Resources
“The Berman Institute of Bioethics is striving to ensure that the international public health response to COVID-19 is ethically informed as well as effective.”

Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) 
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Includes guidance on crisis standards of care and allocation of scarce resources.

National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM)
COVID-19 Responses & Resources
“As the COVID-19 pandemic grips the nation and the world, the National Academies are rapidly mobilizing critical expertise in science, engineering, and medicine….”

National Center for State Courts (NCSC)
Coronavirus and the courts
A compendium of resources from state courts across the country.

National Medical Association (NMA)
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Webinar Series
Collects multiple resources, including a webinar series.

The Network for Public Health Law 
“Public health agencies, health care workers, emergency managers, and policymakers are grappling with core legal preparedness and response efforts to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States. The Network’s real-time resources, guidance, and information are available to assist the public health community….”

O'Neill Institute for National & Global Health Law
What You Need to Know About COVID-19
“As the COVID-19 outbreak and response continues, the O’Neill Institute will send out analysis on outbreak developments and share the viewpoints and thought leadership of our in-house public health experts. These updates will provide information on the status of the outbreak as well as analysis on different interventions to mitigate the disease.”

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), Office of Civil Rights (OCR)
Civil Rights and COVID-19
“The resources ... explain how civil rights laws assist patients in receiving the care they need during the COVID-19 public health emergency.”

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) – TRACIE Healthcare Emergency Preparedness Information Gateway
Novel Coronavirus Resources 
Offers numerous COVID-19 Healthcare Planning Resource Collections, including on crisis standards of care and legal issues.

University of Pittsburgh, Center for Bioethics & Health Law 
COVID-19 Ethics Resources
Covers multiple topics in COVID-19 ethics.

World Health Organization (WHO)
Resources on ethics and COVID-19
An international collection of statements on COVID-19 ethical issues.