Originally published 1 April 20
Here is an excerpt:
Moral injury is also coming to the forefront as physicians consider rationing scarce resources with too little guidance. Which surgeries truly justify use of increasingly scarce PPE? A cardiac valve replacement? A lumpectomy? Repairing a torn ligament?
Each denial has profound impact on both the patients whose surgeries are delayed and the clinicians who decide their fates. Yet worse decisions may await clinicians. If, for example, New York City needs an additional 30,000 ventilators but receives only 500, physicians will be responsible for deciding which 29,500 patients will not be ventilated, virtually assuring their demise.
How will physicians make those decisions? How will they cope? The situation of finite resources will force an immediate pivot to assessing patients according to not only their individual needs but also to society's need for that patient's contribution. It will be a wrenching restructuring.
Here are the essential principles for mitigating the impact of moral injury in the context of COVID-19. (They are the same as recommendations in the time before COVID-19.)
1. Value physicians
a. Physicians are putting everything on the line. They're walking into a wildfire of a pandemic, wearing pajamas, with a peashooter in their holster. That takes a monumental amount of courage and deserves profound respect.
The info is here.