Fundamental rights are not privileges, not even in times of a pandemic

Now the German Ethics Council has also spoken against relaxing people who have been vaccinated: so restrictions should only be lifted if all citizens benefit equally. But focusing on the population as a bloc is a mistake.

Alina Boyks, MD, is the President of the German Ethics Council.

Mother. Bobo / Imago

Vaccination has not actually started in Germany, yet the country is arguing enthusiastically whether the state’s restrictions on the freedom of vaccinated people can be lifted. The decisive factor was Australian Airlines Qantas’ announcement that it would only allow people to be vaccinated on international flights. Soon, there was talk of “special rights” and “privileges,” and neither the government members nor the journalists were better than accepting this framing. As is often the case in Germany: first comes the moral, then comes the facts. The country’s Ethics Council also presented a statement speaking against the urgent withdrawal of restrictions on freedom. At a press conference, President Alina Boykes explained why. She said some right things and some very strange things.

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