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A Hygienist Had Covid. Shouldn’t My Dentist Have Instructed Me?

A Hygenist Had Covid. Shouldn’t My Dentist Have Told Me?


You’re not obliged to advocate an acquaintance for a job simply because he asks. And should you do, you shouldn’t conceal faults related to that job. However your resistance to recommending this individual doesn’t appear to be that you simply suppose he wouldn’t do a great job; it’s that you simply disapprove of his habits throughout the pandemic.

As an empirical matter, although, there’s purpose to doubt that individuals’s character traits are “world” — that the cautious accountant is a cautious driver, that the faithless partner is a disloyal pal, that the efficient product supervisor will share your smart issues about pointless journey and socializing. So sure, that’s an enormous logical leap.

Nonetheless, you’re entitled to say no to advocate him since you suppose that he didn’t show a priority for the frequent good; as an moral matter, you’ll be able to deny a favor to somebody who, in your view, lacks an essential advantage. What you’ll be able to’t do is say you’ll advocate him after which not accomplish that.

I’m in a high-risk group, eligible for a Covid vaccination in each the state I dwell in and a neighboring state. My state is doing a poor job of distributing vaccines, and I’ve didn’t get an appointment. However the neighboring state has a terrific system. A pal who lives there received me an appointment. I do know that they don’t ask in your handle if you arrive in your appointment, which means that they’re not overly involved about residency, and my pal didn’t misrepresent me when signing me up. Am I proper to really feel a twinge of guilt all the identical? Title Withheld

Totally different states have completely different approaches. Our collective aim, as a nation, is to get as many individuals vaccinated — particularly these at specific threat — as shortly as we are able to. However as a result of states are allotted vaccines on the premise of their inhabitants, some are taking a agency line, proscribing vaccinations to those that dwell or work there; they might require documentation or not less than self-attestation to this impact. Different state officers appear OK with letting guests within the line. As long as you don’t misrepresent your self at any level, you’ll be able to proceed with a straightforward conscience.


Kwame Anthony Appiah teaches philosophy at N.Y.U. His books embody “Cosmopolitanism,” “The Honor Code” and “The Lies That Bind: Rethinking Identification.” To submit a question: Ship an electronic mail to ethicist@nytimes.com; or ship mail to The Ethicist, The New York Occasions Journal, 620 Eighth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10018. (Embrace a daytime cellphone quantity.)

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