• April 2, 2020 from 12:00pm to 1:00pm

The second COVID-19 webinar will explore the ethics of using restrictive measures in the control of infectious diseases.

Responding to a pandemic through the healthcare system alone may not be effective. The use of public health measures such as physical distancing clearly raises important ethical issues regarding the limits to personal freedoms in times of public health emergencies.

Although these measures played a role to prevent the spread of SARS in 2003, H1N1 in 2009 and Ebola in 2014-16, they were limited in scope in comparison to the measures used in the COVID-19 response.

Experts will delve into the history of physical distancing measures like quarantine, their success and the tradeoffs made during the Spanish Flu and how it applies to today’s current pandemic. They will also approach, through an ethics lens, the concept of civil liberties as it relates to public health.

This webinar is an opportunity for DLSPH alumni and the U of T community to hear the latest from public health professionals and researchers, ask their questions, and contribute to the ongoing dialogue from a public health and health system perspective.


  • Moderator: Ross Upshur, Professor, Clinical Public Health Division, Centre for Global Health
  • Christopher Rutty – Clinical Public Health, Centre for Vaccine-Preventable Diseases
  • Anna Banerji – Associate Professor, Clinical Public Health Division and Social & Behavioural Health Sciences Division with a cross-appointment to the Faculty of Medicine
  • Jeff Kwong – Professor, Clinical Public Health Division and Epidemiology Division
  • Alison Thompson – Associate Professor, Social & Behavioural Health Sciences Division and Joint Centre for Bioethics
  • Trudo Lemmens – Professor and Scholl Chair in Health Law and Policy, Faculty of Law; cross-appointed to the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, the Faculty of Medicine and the Joint Centre for Bioethics.

The webinar will be live-streamed, recorded and published on our YouTube page.