The Ethics of Ventilators

by palisatrium1 min read8th Apr 2020No comments

1

Coronavirus
Personal Blog

Sadly, there will likely come a time soon where doctors will need to triage ventilator removal from patients. A few thoughts:

1. How does removing a ventilator square with the code of "First do no harm?"

2. Should ventilators be rationed by occupation? For example, should doctors and nurses be given priority given that they may be save future lives? Conversely, should we de-prioritize convicted violent criminals?

3. Should likely future years be taken into account? Should a 30 year old get precedence over a 75 year old?

Right now, it appears that the guidelines for New York are to treat every life as a life so long as it isn't a child (they get preference). Doctors look at something called a SOFA score to determine the likelihood of survival and allocate based on saving the maximum number of lives.