Medical Triage During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Medical and Ethical Burden

Link to article at PubMed

J Clin Ethics. 2021 Spring;32(1):73-76.


During the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of patients who require intensive care treatment may outnumber the number of intensive care beds, even in industrialized nations. Consequently, triage may become necessary. In Italy, France, and Spain, age has been used as a leading parameter to decide who is admitted to the intensive care unit, and who receives palliative care. Although age is an objective and easy-to-use parameter, it is ethically not ideal to withdraw ventilator therapy from elderly people who suffer from COVID-19. We have developed a simple and easy-to-use scoring system to allow for triage that is based upon scientific outcome data and, at the same time, fulfills ethical standards.


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