Past Event

COVID-19: Ethical Dilemmas in Human Lives

May 20, 2020
4:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Please join this transcontinental discussion on the moral and medical ethical dilemmas posed by the COVID-19 crisis, featuring a panel of distinguished doctors, philosophers, and ethicists.

The Four Ethical Dilemmas

  • Responsibility
  • Fairness
  • Dignity
  • Honoring Death


Each topic will be addressed in 30 minute segments. A "Question & Answer" session with participants will follow each topic.




Smadar Bustan, PhD, the organiser, is a philosopher, ethicist and scientist at the University of Paris Diderot. In her research on human suffering and pain, she developed a tool for evaluating the suffering of chronic patients following experimental and clinical studies in Luxembourg and France. She co-founded at Harvard and heads the International Program on Suffering and Pain (

Mylène Botbol-Baum, PhD, is full professor in the faculty of Medicine, member of the Biomedical Ethics Unit ( HELESI ), Ethics Committee (INSERM France) and Professor in the Philosophy Department, at Université Catholique de Louvain in Brussels, Belgium.

Rita Charon, MD, PhD, is Chair of Medical Humanities and Ethics at Columbia University. A general internist and literary scholar, she is the founder of the discipline of narrative medicine. With an MD from Harvard, PhD in English from Columbia, she conducts research on the impact of humanities in medicine and is the author or co-author of four books on narrative medicine.

Katherine Fischkoff, MD, MPA, is an Acute Care Surgeon and intensivist at Columbia University and is the Medical Director of the Surgical Step Down Unit. She is an active member of the Columbia Ethics Committee, the SCCM Ethics Committee and an ethics consultant.

Meinhard Kritzinger, MD, is a specialist in anesthesia and intensive care with diploma in tropical medicine and public health. He has trained in Austria, South Africa, Italy, America, and in several war zones working for MSF-Italy.

Laure Madé, is a practicing Covid-19 Nurse at Hospital Bichat, Paris and Epidemiologist. Trained as a nurse in France, she completed a MSc in Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She has been working on emerging infectious diseases at Institut Pasteur, the University of Liverpool.

Mirco Nacoti, MD, is an emergency, anesthesia and intensive care physician in Bergamo, Italy. An expert in international health and bioethics, he has extensive field experience in humanitarian crises and community approach to vulnerable people. He recently co-wrote and published the article, "At the Epicenter of the Covid-19 Pandemic and Humanitarian Crises in Italy: Changing Perspectives on Preparation and Mitigation," in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Jeremy R. Simon, MD, PhD, is an emergency physician, medical ethicist and philosopher of medicine on the faculty of Columbia University. He is a member of several local and national ethics committees and chair of the International Philosophy of Medicine Roundtable, the leading organization of philosophers of medicine.