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Friday, March 27, 2020

Coronavirus and ethics: 'Act so that most people survive'

Georg Marckmann
Originally posted 24 March 20

Here is an excerpt:

Triage, a word used in military medicine, means classification. What groups do you classify the patients into?

There are several categories. Critically-ill patients are treated immediately, the treatment of seriously-ill patients is delayed, and patients who are slightly ill are treated later. Patients with no chance of survival receive purely palliative care.

The crucial element of situations involving a large number of sick people that we can no longer care for adequately is that we have to switch from a patient-centered approach to a group- or population-oriented approach. In a patient-centered approach, we try to adjust treatment as best we can to ensure the well-being of the individual patient and accommodate their wishes.

In a group-centered approach, we try to ensure that the incidence of illness and death within a population group is as low as possible. This places a strain on those making these decisions, because they're not used to it.

As a basic rule, we try to act in such a way that the largest number of people survive, because that is in the public interest.

The info is here.