RPS guidance on ethical, professional decision making in the COVID-19 Pandemic

Dr Matthew Boyd MRPharmS, Associate Professor in Patient Safety and Pharmacy Practice, University of Nottingham, Vice Chair, Pharmacy Law and Ethics Association.

On behalf of the RPS short life working group on Ethical, professional decision making in the COVID-19 pandemic.

First published: 8 April 2020
Updated: 13 May 2022


  1. Summary
  2. Acknowledgement
  3. Introduction & Background
  4. Professional Decision-Making
  5. Ethical Framework for Decision Making
  6. Guidance relating to specific issues
        • Maintaining patient safety
        • Maintaining the safety of staff and volunteers
        • Working outside normal areas of specialism and/or competence
        • Allocating scarce supplies of medicines and devices
        • Following of legislative requirements
        • Record keeping
        • Direct and indirect discrimination in decision making
        • Moral Distress
        • Managing patients remotely
        • Procurement and distribution
        • Leadership 
        • Research/Experimental treatments 
        • Repurposing of medicines
        • Learning and improvement 
  7. Ethical decisions COVID-19 Short Life Working Group

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