Healthcare must stop ignoring future patients!

By Christian Munthe, Davide Fumagalli and Erik Malmqvist Most countries with publicly funded healthcare systems have ethically informed priority setting schemes to decide how to allocate scarce resources. Established principles in such schemes recognise patients’ need of care, the effects of interventions, and background requirements of equal consideration and cost-effectiveness. However, the typical use of […]

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Vaccine distribution ethics: monotheism or polytheism?

By Alberto Giubilini, Julian Savulescu and Dominic Wilkinson. Pfizer has reported preliminary results that their mRNA COVID vaccine is 90% effective during phase III trials. The hope is to have the first doses available for distribution by the end of the year. Discussion has quickly moved to how the vaccine should be distributed in the […]

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Prioritizing trust and consistency when allocating ventilators

By Alexander T.M. Cheung and Brendan Parent Rationing healthcare resources never sits well with all parties involved. By definition, someone gets left out. Various values, contrary perspectives, and practical considerations all must be weighed before reaching a morally passable, though imperfect, compromise. Yet never has the question of rationing so acutely needed answering in the […]

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Ethical decision making when demand for intensive care exceeds available resources. The need for public discussion.

By Tim Cook, Kim J Gupta, Robin Fackrell, Sarah Wexler, Bernie Marden Early in the COVID-19 pandemic the first author of this blog wrote a Guardian article which was titled “ICU doctors now face the toughest decisions they will ever have to make.” It referred to the possibility – then expected to be a reality […]

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People with disabilities are worth saving, too: Ensuring healthcare equity during the COVID-19 pandemic

By Molly M. King Before we face another swell of the pandemic, we have the opportunity as a country to take stock of early lessons learned about the vulnerabilities of our nation’s healthcare system. As our nation celebrates the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, we have other shortcomings to reflect on, as […]

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Patents, private governance and access to vaccines and treatments for Covid-19

By Aisling McMahon Recent moves such as by the United States and United Kingdom to negotiate deals to access large quantities of vaccines/medicines for Covid-19 within their territories raise serious questions around access to healthcare and global equitable distribution. Such attempts to secure preferential access, although understandable within the national context, can jeopardise supplies of […]

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Government-Sanctioned Health Care Discrimination During a Pandemic: Legally Nonsensical and Morally Bereft

By Charles Binkley and David S. Kemp The Trump administration recently announced a rule change that would effectively remove nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people in health care and health insurance. Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) prohibits discrimination in the provision of health care on the basis of “race, color, national origin, sex, […]

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Utilizing parents to hand-bag ventilate when resources are scarce: Is it ethical?

By Emily E. Barsky and Sadath Sayeed Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, many nations are coping with what resource limited settings are all too familiar with—ventilator scarcity.  In low-income countries, people— and particularly children— frequently die of reversible, acute respiratory failure due to across-the-board resource scarcity.  Some such settings have responded to this by allowing parents […]

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Death during COVID-19: Redefining terminal illness

By Samantha W. Stein and Justin T. Clapp IDENTIFYING A GAP IN TRIAGE MODELS As floodwaters rose and resources dwindled inside Memorial Medical Center in the days following Hurricane Katrina, patient Emmett Everett pleaded with nurses: “Don’t let them leave me behind.” Everett sought to be evacuated to the safety of another hospital alongside nearly […]

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