Document Type : Review Article


1 Center for Research and Training in Skin Diseases and Leprosy, Tehran University of Medical Science, Tehran, Iran

2 Ontario Public Health Association, Toronto, Ontario, Canada


The World Health Organization characterized the outbreak of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), as a pandemic on March 11, 2020. According to official reports, over 12,300,000 individuals have caught the disease globally over the past six months. Like many other professions, the disease has affected private and academic dermatology practices around the world. The disease has diverse and extensive skin manifestations with implications for dermatology education and research. Some other issues that may concern dermatologists during the pandemic include ethics pertaining to the optimal use of scarce resources like certain drugs and personal protective equipment as well as surcharging patients and the potential of increasing the size of the preexisting health inequity gap. Considering all these issues, discussing the ethical aspects of dermatology, i.e., dermatoethics, during this pandemic is critical. Herein, we review the four basic biomedical ethics principles of autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence, and justice in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.