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In this paper, we discuss the lack of consideration given to children in the COVID-19 health systems policy response to the pandemic. We do this by focusing on the case of children with complex medical needs. We argue that, in broad terms, health systems policies that were implemented during the pandemic failed adequately to meet our obligations to both children generally and those with complex medical needs by failing to consider those needs and so to give them fair protection against harm and disadvantage. We argue that justice requires that the distinct needs and vulnerabilities of children with medical complexities are explicitly integrated and prioritised in decisions concerning healthcare and operational planning in the recovery phase and beyond.

Original publication




Journal article


Med Health Care Philos

Publication Date



1 - 8


Children, Covid-19, Fairness, Medical complexities, Policy response, Vulnerabilities