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Hastings Cent Rep ; 50(3): 40-43, 2020 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-619431


Common hospital and surgical center responses to the Covid-19 pandemic included curtailing "elective" procedures, which are typically determined based on implications for physical health and survival. However, in the focus solely on physical health and survival, procedures whose main benefits advance components of well-being beyond health, including self-determination, personal security, economic stability, equal respect, and creation of meaningful social relationships, have been disproportionately deprioritized. We describe how female reproduction-related procedures, including abortion, surgical sterilization, reversible contraception devices and in vitro fertilization, have been broadly categorized as "elective," a designation that fails to capture the value of these procedures or their impact on women's overall well-being. We argue that corresponding restrictions and delays of these procedures are problematically reflective of underlying structural views that marginalize women's rights and interests and therefore threaten to propagate gender injustice during the pandemic and beyond. Finally, we propose a framework for triaging reproduction-related procedures during Covid-19 that is more individualized, accounts for their significance for comprehensive well-being, and can be used to inform resumption of operations as well as subsequent restriction phases.

Abortion, Induced/ethics , Contraception/ethics , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Elective Surgical Procedures/ethics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Reproductive Rights/ethics , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Developing Countries , Female , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Time Factors , Women's Health