Covid-19 and beyond: The need for copathy and impartial advisers

Matti Häyry*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
9 Downloads (Pure)


When humanity has either suppressed coronavirus disease 2019 or learned to come to terms with its continued existence, governments and corporations probably return to their pre-pandemic stances. Solutions to the world’s problems are sought from technology and business innovations, not from considerations of equality and well-being for all. This is in stark contrast with the pandemic-time situation. Many governments, at least initially, listened to the recommendations of expert advisers, most notably public health authorities, who proceeded from considerations of equality and common good. I suggest that we should continue on this path when the immediate threat of the disease is over. Other crises are already ongoing – poverty, conflicts, climate change, financial bubbles, and so on – and it would be good to use expert knowledge rather than interests and ideologies in dealing with them. To assist in this, I outline the characteristics of a new kind of counsellor, impartial adviser, who is normatively motivated by a sense of copathy and who takes into account all views, nice and not-so-nice alike. I illustrate the nature and ideological orientation of copathic impartial advisers by placing them on a map of justice and examining their relationships with the main political moralities of our time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)220-229
JournalCambridge quarterly of healthcare ethics
Issue number2
Early online date22 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - 26 Apr 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Advisers
  • Copathy
  • Impartial
  • Justice
  • Sympathy


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