Health Ethics in the COVID-19 Pandemic Period in Türkiye: A Discourse Analysis


Keleş Ş., Tuncel B., Akturan S.

Turkiye Klinikleri Journal of Medical Ethics-Law and History, vol.30, no.2, pp.123-131, 2022 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 30 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.5336/mdethic.2021-86754
  • Journal Name: Turkiye Klinikleri Journal of Medical Ethics-Law and History
  • Journal Indexes: Scopus, EBSCO Education Source, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.123-131

Abstract

An outbreak with the characteristics of a pandemic indicates an exceptional period. Making an accurate, ethical assessment of health ethics in challenging circumstances is only possible by recognizing the value problems that have emerged with the pandemic. Nowadays, the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic continues to impact numerous social structures in our country as well as across the world. Extraordinary measures taken in the struggle against the pandemic can be followed from published guidelines, prepared posters, visual and audio tools, and official texts. The study, it is aimed to investigate which ethical values protect or deteriorate the practices that came into force to reduce the impact of the pandemic in Türkiye and produce information about the value content of the measures taken. Within the scope of the study, written documents, audio, and visual sources prepared related to the COVID-19 pandemic by the Ministry of Health in Türkiye between March 11, 2020 and October 1, 2021 were determined and the sources were subjected to critical discourse analysis, which is one of the qualitative research methods, and evaluated thematically. By being limited to the resources obtained, the preparations for the society, healthcare staff, and health institutions were discussed in the contexts of 'public health and common good', 'transparency and disclosure', 'occupational health and safety' and 'mandatory reporting' and interpreted from a critical point of view in terms of health ethics. In exceptional circumstances such as the pandemic, various reasons can lead to value conflicts; the aim can be determined by deciding on the action that preserves the most value for the least cost. Only in such a case can it be argued that the price paid can be ethically justified.