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J Gen Intern Med ; 36(7): 2094-2099, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1217470


The COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped health care delivery for all patients but has distinctly affected the most marginalized people in society. Incarcerated patients are both more likely to be infected and more likely to die from COVID-19. There is a paucity of guidance for the care of incarcerated patients hospitalized with COVID-19. This article will discuss how patient privacy, adequate communication, and advance care planning are rights that incarcerated patients may not experience during this pandemic. We highlight the role of compassionate release and note how COVID-19 may affect this prospect. A number of pragmatic recommendations are made to attenuate the discrepancy in hospital care experienced by those admitted from prisons and jails. Physicians must be familiar with the relevant hospital policies, be prepared to adapt their practices in order to overcome barriers to care, such as continuous shackling, and advocate to change these policies when they conflict with patient care. Stigma, isolation, and concerns over staff safety are shared experiences for COVID-19 and incarcerated patients, but incarcerated patients have been experiencing this treatment long before the current pandemic. It is crucial that the internist demand the equitable care that we seek for all our patients.

COVID-19 , Prisoners , Humans , Pandemics , Prisons , SARS-CoV-2
J Health Polit Policy Law ; 46(5): 831-860, 2021 10 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1154062


CONTEXT: COVID-19 has prompted debates between bioethicists and disability activists about Crisis Standards of Care plans (CSCs), triage protocols determining the allocation of scarce lifesaving care. METHODS: We examine CSCs in 35 states and code how they approach disability, comparing states that have revised their plans over time to those that have not. We offer ethical and legal analyses evaluating to what extent changes to state policy aligned with disability rights law and ethics during the early pandemic and subsequently as stakeholder engagement grew. FINDINGS: While disability rights views were not well represented in CSCs that were not updated or updated early in the pandemic, states that revised their plans later in the pandemic were more aligned with advocate priorities. However, many CSCs continue to include concerning provisions, especially the reliance on long-term survival, which implicates considerations of both disability rights and racial justice. CONCLUSIONS: The disability rights movement's successes in influencing state triage policy should inform future CSCs and set the stage for further work on how stakeholders influence bioethics policy debates. We offer thoughts for examining bioethics policy making reflecting the processes by which activists seek policy change and the tension policy makers face between expert delegation and mediating values conflicts.

COVID-19 , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Justice , Standard of Care