‘Death Panel’? No, It’s A ‘Patient Ranking System’

Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 2.0

Sarah Palin warned a decade ago that shortages of medical goods and services would inevitably result in ‘death panels’ – healthcare administrators assigned with deciding who gets life-saving treatment and who does not. Now Ivy League ‘bioethicists’ are calling for just such a system, but under a name they hope will be easier to sell … 

Harvard, Penn bioethicists propose COVID-19 ‘ranking system’ |

One wrote “Why I Hope To Die At 75”

April 3, 2020

Bioethics treatment rules could decide who gets a ventilator

(CNN) With the peak of COVID-19 infections still ahead and medical supplies still scarce, hospitals and physicians are gearing up for a nearly impossible challenge: deciding who gets a life-saving ventilator and who doesn’t.

“Physicians who work in parts of the world that don’t have adequate resources have had to make decisions like this maybe even on a routine basis, but physicians in the United States have never faced anything like this before,” said Dr. Robert Truog, director of the Center for Bioethics at Harvard Medical School. “It is going to be extremely difficult.”

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The Ivy League doctor who penned “Why I Hope To Die at 75” is a key leader in shaping a COVID-19 ‘ranking system.’

If the current rate of hospitalization and intubation continues in New York, “we have about six days” left of ventilators in the stockpile, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said during Thursday’s coronavirus briefing.

“If a person comes in and needs a ventilator and you don’t have a ventilator, the person dies. That’s the blunt equation here,” Cuomo said.

Robert Truog, director of the Center for Bioethics at Harvard Medical School, says American doctors may face new ethical challenges in trying to triage limited ventilators for Covid-19 patients.

“[S]ociety and families—and you—will be better off if nature takes its course swiftly and promptly.” – Ezekiel J. Emanuel, University of Pennsylvania; “Why I Hope to Die at 75,” The Atlantic, Oct 2014

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The demand for ventilators has skyrocketed in intensive care units across the country as coronavirus patients have flooded in.

Typically, adult patients will stay in the ICU — and on a ventilator — for only three to four days, as one Connecticut doctor explained, but COVID-19 patients need them for up to two or three weeks, dramatically increasing demand.

“The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s “death panel” so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their ‘level of productivity in society,’ whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.” – Sarah Palin, Facebook, August 7, 2009

Truog said he worked all weekend helping hospitals develop policies that determine who receives intensive care during a public health emergency.

One of the better frameworks to follow, he said, is one developed by Dr. Douglas White, a professor of critical care medicine … Read more. 

DISQUS it: Do you believe that an advocate of dying at age 75 should have a role in establishing a COVID-19 ‘ranking system’ to decide who gets a life-saving ventilator and who doesn’t? Comment below.

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