Situational vulnerability within mental healthcare – a qualitative analysis of ethical challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mental healthcare users and patients were described as a particularly vulnerable group in the debate on the burdens of the COVID-19 pandemic. Just what this means and what normative conclusions can be derived from it depend to a large extent on the underlying concept of vulnerability. While a traditional understanding locates vulnerability in the characteristics of social groups, a situational and dynamic approach considers how social structures produce vulnerable social positions. The situation of users and patients in different psychosocial settings during the COVID-19 pandemic has not yet been comprehensively considered and ethically analyzed under the aspect of situational vulnerability.