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Am Soc Clin Oncol Educ Book ; 41: e13-e19, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1249567


The COVID-19 pandemic and the simultaneous increased focus on structural racism and racial/ethnic disparities across the United States have shed light on glaring inequities in U.S. health care, both in oncology and more generally. In this article, we describe how, through the lens of fundamental ethical principles, an ethical imperative exists for the oncology community to overcome these inequities in cancer care, research, and the oncology workforce. We first explain why this is an ethical imperative, centering the discussion on lessons learned during 2020. We continue by describing ongoing equity-focused efforts by ASCO and other related professional medical organizations. We end with a call to action-all members of the oncology community have an ethical responsibility to take steps to address inequities in their clinical and academic work-and with guidance to practicing oncologists looking to optimize equity in their research and clinical practice.

Health Equity/statistics & numerical data , Health Status Disparities , Healthcare Disparities/statistics & numerical data , Medical Oncology/methods , Neoplasms/therapy , Racism/prevention & control , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , Health Equity/ethics , Healthcare Disparities/ethics , Humans , Medical Oncology/ethics , Medical Oncology/organization & administration , Neoplasms/diagnosis , Pandemics , Public Health/ethics , Public Health/methods , Public Health/statistics & numerical data , Racism/ethics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , United States
Am J Bioeth ; 21(3): 94-97, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1093436
JAMA Oncol ; 7(2): 199-205, 2021 02 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-956246


Importance: State crisis standards of care (CSC) guidelines in the US allocate scarce health care resources among patients. Anecdotal reports suggest that guidelines may disproportionately allocate resources away from patients with cancer, but no comprehensive evaluation has been performed. Objective: To examine the implications of US state CSC guidelines for patients with cancer, including allocation methods, cancer-related categorical exclusions and deprioritizations, and provisions for blood products and palliative care. Design, Setting, and Participants: This cross-sectional population-based analysis examined state-endorsed CSC guidelines published before May 20, 2020, that included health care resource allocation recommendations. Main Outcomes and Measures: Guideline publication before or within 120 days after the first documented US case of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), inclusion of cancer-related categorical exclusions and/or deprioritizations, provisions for blood products and/or palliative care, and associations between these outcomes and state-based cancer demographics. Results: Thirty-one states had health care resource allocation guidelines that met inclusion criteria, of which 17 had been published or updated since the first US case of COVID-19. States whose available hospital bed capacity was predicted to exceed 100% at 6 months (χ2 = 3.82; P = .05) or that had a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center (CCC; χ2 = 6.21; P = .01) were more likely to have publicly available guidelines. The most frequent primary methods of prioritization were the Sequential Organ Failure Assessment score (27 states [87%]) and deprioritizing persons with worse long-term prognoses (22 states [71%]). Seventeen states' (55%) allocation methods included cancer-related deprioritizations, and 8 states (26%) included cancer-related categorical exclusions. The presence of an in-state CCC was associated with lower likelihood of cancer-related categorical exclusions (multivariable odds ratio, 0.06 [95% CI, 0.004-0.87]). Guidelines with disability rights statements were associated with specific provisions to allocate blood products (multivariable odds ratio, 7.44 [95% CI, 1.28-43.24). Both the presence of an in-state CCC and having an oncologist and/or palliative care specialist on the state CSC task force were associated with the inclusion of palliative care provisions. Conclusions and Relevance: Among states with CSC guidelines, most deprioritized some patients with cancer during resource allocation, and one-fourth categorically excluded them. The presence of an in-state CCC was associated with guideline availability, palliative care provisions, and lower odds of cancer-related exclusions. These data suggest that equitable state-level CSC considerations for patients with cancer benefit from the input of oncology stakeholders.

COVID-19 , Health Care Rationing , Neoplasms/therapy , Practice Guidelines as Topic , Standard of Care , State Government , Cancer Care Facilities , Cross-Sectional Studies , Health Priorities , Hospital Bed Capacity , Humans , National Cancer Institute (U.S.) , Organ Dysfunction Scores , Palliative Care , Patient Rights , SARS-CoV-2 , United States