Supra-institutional transparency: a first step towards recovering from the COVID-19 wound

By Benjamin Herreros, Pablo Gella, Diego Real de Asúa In the wake of the first COVID-19 wave, the latest news media cycles in Spain have been filled with alarming headlines on the need to investigate the triage criteria used during the epidemic. The State’s Attorney’s Office is undertaking preliminary investigations into several hospitals in the […]

Read More…

Don’t blame the science

By Jonathan Michaels When I wrote about the potential for injustices to arise in evidence-based healthcare policy, the COVID-19 pandemic had not begun.  Since then, numerous government agencies and academic bodies have rapidly produced policy, claiming legitimacy because it is “evidence-based” or “follows the science”.  However, science cannot determine policy, and the failure to distinguish […]

Read More…

Maximizing outcomes in triage of critical care resources—is there a consensus?

By Lynette Reid My university told us to work from home in mid-March; public health asked us to limit shopping and travel—but to get outdoors for exercise—soon after. I can’t complain. I have secure employment; my partner and I live outside the city in a fishing village with protected wilderness all around. It was like […]

Read More…

COVID-19: Should we allocate health care resources based on citizens’ individual contribution to society?

By Rebecca Limb   There has not been a time in recent memory where the NHS’s resources have been under so much pressure that questions around resource allocation have become pressing and persistent ethical concerns. With COVID-19 lockdown measures due to be eased in the coming weeks there is a significant threat of a second […]

Read More…

Lack of leadership to limit “futile” end-of-life care leaves Canada hamstrung in COVID-19 pandemic

By Lucas Vivas and Travis Carpenter The COVID-19 pandemic has shed a light on many of the strengths and weaknesses of the world’s public health systems. In Canada, where the national health care system was stretched even before the expected COVID-19 surge, a conversation has begun about the need to direct health care resources to […]

Read More…

Should culpability or negligence of the patient affect triage decisions? A question the state needs to answer for healthcare professionals

By Nikunj Agarwal Triage decision and value judgments Value judgments about justice or fairness are neither easy nor conclusive. However, this does not prevent value judgments from being made on a daily basis. When a judge attempts to determine the culpability of an accused, the procedural and evidentiary rules assist her in making those value […]

Read More…

Prioritizing justice in ventilator allocation

By L. Syd M Johnson As the Covid-19 pandemic intensified worldwide, grim reports out of Italy’s embattled and overwhelmed hospitals foretold the need to plan for rationing ventilators in the event that the number of patients requiring them exceeded the number available. Hospitals, ethics committees, and government agencies around the US began planning for the […]

Read More…

Not only benefit: equity and fairness in states’ responses to COVID-19

By Nic Aagaard, Lynley Anderson, Neil Pickering A range of important ethical considerations that have arisen due to the emergence of the novel coronavirus COVID-19. A potentially important part of the international response is the role of National Ethics Committees (NECs). NECs are generally advisory committees, offering ethical comment to governments and other institutions, and […]

Read More…

Rewarding through prioritization: The limits of reciprocal obligation in allocating scarce medical resources in the COVID-19 crisis

By Thibaud Haaser In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, health systems are under severe strain. Some countries are currently experiencing, or may experience within a few weeks, shortages of medical resources (in particular intensive care beds and mechanical ventilation). In this context, the health community may have to make impossible choices regarding the allocation […]

Read More…