Ethical Responsibilities of Genealogical Organizations during the Global COVID-19 Pandemic #education #guidelines

Jeffrey Mark Paull

The purpose of this article is to pose the question of what the ethical responsibilities of genealogical organizations, such as the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS), are during the global COVID-19 pandemic.  Genealogical organizations are, of course, in the business of genealogy.  But, when conducting their genealogy-related business activities, such as planning, sponsoring, and hosting large national and international conferences, a number of ethical questions involving health policy come into play:

(1) Do genealogy organizations have an ethical responsibility to protect the health of their members when such activities may put their members’ health at risk?

(2) Who makes the health policy decisions of whether to hold a large in-person conference, and on what basis are these decisions made?

(3) What are the ethical responsibilities of genealogical organizations to share public health information, and to keep their membership informed of health-related policy decisions on social media?

This article examines these questions, and the ethical responsibilities of genealogical organizations to its members. 

Jeffrey Mark Paull, DRPH

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