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Centre for Law, Medicine and Life Sciences

Faculty of Law

Workplace health interventions can raise complex ethical issues, for example relating to privacy, equity, and unintended consequences. The UK government and some advisory bodies issued guidance on mass asymptomatic testing for COVID-19 during waves of the pandemic, but few resources have focused specifically on the ethical issues in workplace settings.

To address this gap, THIS Institute conducted a mixed-method consultation (comprising a survey and semi-structured interviews) in a UK case study organisation that had introduced asymptomatic testing on-site in its buildings. The findings of this consultation informed the development of an ethical framework for organisational decision-making about such programmes. The study was carried out during a period before vaccinations were widely available and during a wave of infection. The findings and framework are likely to be of particular value in informing responses to future scenarios where transmission rates are high and immunity is low. The finding are also of general relevance for other decisions about workplace health interventions.

Prof. Kathy Liddell (Director of LML) was a member of the study team, and co-author of the paper which is now available in BMC Public Health.

The full paper can be found here, and the resulting ethical framework can be found here.