Webinar: Paternalism versus freedom

2 December, 16:30 to 18:30

For several years, we have been organizing an annual seminar with the Spanish Society for Public Health and Health Administration (SESPAS) to discuss key issues in public health. Unfortunately, this year we were unable to meet in person, and we had therefore chosen a virtual format with three sessions, on 30 November, and 2 and 3 December, which participants can attend via Zoom.


Webinar 2 December, Paternalism versus freedom

Video available here

One of the major challenges of the covid19 pandemic has been how to develop a public health approach that strikes the right balance between individual freedom and social well-being.


Public health typically requires people to sacrifice some of their individual freedom for the good of the community. Compulsory quarantine measures to suppress a focus of infection constitute an obvious example. This pandemic, however, has raised serious doubts about the scope of such sacrifices.


Starting from the idea that the common good includes the need to protect public health while also guaranteeing individual freedoms, we wanted to discuss the ethical limits both on individual freedom and on public authority in this pandemic and those of the future.


With the participation of:

  • Josefa Cantero, Senior Lecturer in Administrative Law at the Faculty of Law, Albacete, and President of the Spanish Association of Health Jurists.
  • Iñigo de Miguel, philosopher and Researcher at the Chair of Law and the Human Genome at the University of the Basque Country
  • Jordi Muñoz, political scientist and Ramón y Cajal Researcher at the University of Barcelona


The session was chaired by Ángel Puyol, Professor of Ethics at the Autonomous University of Barcelona.


Webinar organized in coordination with the Spanish Society for Public Health and Health Administration (SESPAS)