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3.
Public Health Rep ; 137(2): 208-212, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1582750

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic created unprecedented strain on the personal protective equipment (PPE) supply chain. Given the dearth of PPE and consequences for transmission, GetMePPE Chicago (GMPC) developed a PPE allocation framework and system, distributing 886 900 units to 274 institutions from March 2020 to July 2021 to address PPE needs. As the pandemic evolved, GMPC made difficult decisions about (1) building reserve inventory (to balance present and future, potentially higher clinical acuity, needs), (2) donating to other states/out-of-state organizations, and (3) receiving donations from other states. In this case study, we detail both GMPC's experience in making these decisions and the ethical frameworks that guided these decisions. We also reflect on lessons learned and suggest which values may have been in conflict (eg, maximizing benefits vs duty to mission, defined in the context of PPE allocation) in each circumstance, which values were prioritized, and when that prioritization would change. Such guidance can promote a values-based approach to key issues concerning distribution of PPE and other scarce medical resources in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and related future pandemics.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Organizational Case Studies , Personal Protective Equipment/supply & distribution , Resource Allocation/ethics , Chicago , Decision Making, Organizational , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Students, Medical , Volunteers
6.
Camb Q Healthc Ethics ; 30(3): 406-414, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1303729

ABSTRACT

Vaccines, when available, will prove to be crucial in the fight against Covid-19. All societies will face acute dilemmas in allocating scarce lifesaving resources in the form of vaccines for Covid-19. The author proposes The Value of Lives Principle as a just and workable plan for equitable and efficient access. After describing what the principle entails, the author contrasts the advantage of this approach with other current proposals such as the Fair Priority Model.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19/prevention & control , Health Care Rationing/ethics , Immunization Programs/ethics , Value of Life , Humans , Immunization Programs/organization & administration , Resource Allocation/ethics , United Kingdom
7.
BMC Med Ethics ; 22(1): 70, 2021 06 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1255933

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: ECMO is a particularly scarce resource during the COVID-19 pandemic. Its allocation involves ethical considerations that may be different to usual times. There is limited pre-pandemic literature on the ethical factors that ECMO physicians consider during ECMO allocation. During the pandemic, there has been relatively little professional guidance specifically relating to ethics and ECMO allocation; although there has been active ethical debate about allocation of other critical care resources. We report the results of a small international exploratory survey of ECMO clinicians' views on different patient factors in ECMO decision-making prior to and during the COVID-19 pandemic. We then outline current ethical decision procedures and recommendations for rationing life-sustaining treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic, and examine the extent to which current guidelines for ECMO allocation (and reported practice) adhere to these ethical guidelines and recommendations. METHODS: An online survey was performed with responses recorded between mid May and mid August 2020. Participants (n = 48) were sourced from the ECMOCard study group-an international group of experts (n = 120) taking part in a prospective international study of ECMO and intensive care for patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey compared the extent to which certain ethical factors involved in ECMO resource allocation were considered prior to and during the pandemic. RESULTS: When initiating ECMO during the pandemic, compared to usual times, participants reported giving more ethical weight to the benefit of ECMO to other patients not yet admitted as opposed to those already receiving ECMO, (p < 0.001). If a full unit were referred a good candidate for ECMO, participants were more likely during the pandemic to consider discontinuing ECMO from a current patient with low chance of survival (53% during pandemic vs. 33% prior p = 0.002). If the clinical team recommends that ECMO should cease, but family do not agree, the majority of participants indicated that they would continue treatment, both in usual circumstances (67%) and during the pandemic (56%). CONCLUSIONS: We found differences during the COVID-19 pandemic in prioritisation of several ethical factors in the context of ECMO allocation. The ethical principles prioritised by survey participants were largely consistent with ECMO allocation guidelines, current ethical decision procedures and recommendations for allocation of life-sustaining treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation/ethics , Health Care Rationing , Resource Allocation/ethics , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/therapy , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Pandemics , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
8.
J Law Med Ethics ; 49(1): 132-138, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1221087

ABSTRACT

Escalating demands for limited food supplies at America's food banks and pantries during the COVID-19 pandemic have raised ethical concerns underlying "first-come, first-served" distributions strategies. A series of model ethical principles are designed to guide ethical allocations of these resources to assure greater access among persons facing food insecurity.


Subject(s)
Disaster Planning , Food Assistance/ethics , Guidelines as Topic , Resource Allocation/ethics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Emergencies , Food Assistance/organization & administration , Food Supply , Humans , Public Health , Resource Allocation/organization & administration , United States
11.
BMC Med Ethics ; 22(1): 36, 2021 03 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1166906

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Under COVID-19 pandemic, many organizations developed guidelines to deal with the ethical aspects of resources allocation. This study describes the results of an argument-based review of ethical guidelines developed at the European level. It aims to increase knowledge and awareness about the moral relevance of the outbreak, especially as regards the balance of equity and dignity in clinical practice and patient's care. METHOD: According to the argument-based review framework, we started our research from the following two questions: what are the ethical principles adopted by the ethical guidelines produced at the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak related to resource allocation? And what are the practical consequences in terms of 'priority' of access, access criteria, management of the decision-making process and patient care? RESULTS: Twenty-two ethical guidelines met our inclusion criteria and the results of our analysis are organized into 4 ethical concepts and related arguments: the equity principle and emerging ethical theories; triage criteria; respecting patient's dignity, and decision making and quality of care. CONCLUSION: Further studies can investigate the practical consequences of the application of the guidelines described, in terms of quality of care and health care professionals' moral distress.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Guidelines as Topic , Moral Obligations , Respect , Europe , Humans , Pandemics , Resource Allocation/ethics , SARS-CoV-2
13.
Camb Q Healthc Ethics ; 30(2): 390-402, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1149670

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis provoked an organizational ethics dilemma: how to develop ethical pandemic policy while upholding our organizational mission to deliver relationship- and patient-centered care. Tasked with producing a recommendation about whether healthcare workers and essential personnel should receive priority access to limited medical resources during the pandemic, the bioethics department and survey and interview methodologists at our institution implemented a deliberative approach that included the perspectives of healthcare professionals and patient stakeholders in the policy development process. Involving the community more, not less, during a crisis required balancing the need to act quickly to garner stakeholder perspectives, uncertainty about the extent and duration of the pandemic, and disagreement among ethicists about the most ethically supportable way to allocate scarce resources. This article explains the process undertaken to garner stakeholder input as it relates to organizational ethics, recounts the stakeholder perspectives shared and how they informed the triage policy developed, and offers suggestions for how other organizations may integrate stakeholder involvement in ethical decision-making as well as directions for future research and public health work.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Ethics, Institutional , Health Personnel , Patient Participation , Policy Making , Resource Allocation/ethics , Attitude of Health Personnel , Health Care Rationing/ethics , Humans , Organizational Policy , Triage/ethics
14.
HEC Forum ; 33(1-2): 19-33, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1118245

ABSTRACT

The novel coronavirus of 2019 exposed, in an undeniable way, the severity of racial inequities in America's healthcare system. As the urgency of the pandemic grew, administrators, clinicians, and ethicists became concerned with upholding the ethical principle of "most lives saved" by re-visiting crisis standards of care and triage protocols. Yet a colorblind, race-neutral approach to "most lives saved" is inherently inequitable because it reflects the normality and invisibility of 'whiteness' while simultaneously disregarding the burdens of 'Blackness'. As written, the crisis standards of care (CSC) adopted by States are racist policies because they contribute to a history that treats Black Americans are inherently less than. This paper will unpack the idealized fairness and equity pursued by CSC, while also considering the use of modified Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (mSOFA) as a measure of objective equality in the context of a healthcare system that is built on systemic racism and the potential dangers this can have on Black Americans with COVID-19.


Subject(s)
African Americans , COVID-19/ethnology , Organ Dysfunction Scores , Pneumonia, Viral/ethnology , Racism/ethics , Resource Allocation/ethics , Health Equity , Health Status Disparities , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , United States/epidemiology
15.
J Diabetes Sci Technol ; 15(5): 1005-1009, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1085175

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic raised distinct challenges in the field of scarce resource allocation, a long-standing area of inquiry in the field of bioethics. Policymakers and states developed crisis guidelines for ventilator triage that incorporated such factors as immediate prognosis, long-term life expectancy, and current stage of life. Often these depend upon existing risk factors for severe illness, including diabetes. However, these algorithms generally failed to account for the underlying structural biases, including systematic racism and economic disparity, that rendered some patients more vulnerable to these conditions. This paper discusses this unique ethical challenge in resource allocation through the lens of care for patients with severe COVID-19 and diabetes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/therapy , Diabetes Complications/therapy , Diabetes Mellitus/therapy , Resource Allocation , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/epidemiology , Diabetes Complications/economics , Diabetes Complications/epidemiology , Diabetes Mellitus/economics , Diabetes Mellitus/epidemiology , Health Services Accessibility/economics , Health Services Accessibility/ethics , Health Services Accessibility/standards , Health Services Accessibility/statistics & numerical data , Health Status Disparities , Healthcare Disparities/economics , Healthcare Disparities/ethics , Healthcare Disparities/organization & administration , Healthcare Disparities/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Pandemics , Racism/ethics , Racism/statistics & numerical data , Resource Allocation/economics , Resource Allocation/ethics , Resource Allocation/organization & administration , Resource Allocation/statistics & numerical data , Triage/economics , Triage/ethics , United States/epidemiology , Ventilators, Mechanical/economics , Ventilators, Mechanical/statistics & numerical data , Ventilators, Mechanical/supply & distribution
16.
HEC Forum ; 33(1-2): 73-90, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1083437

ABSTRACT

The Covid-19 pandemic has presented major challenges to society, exposing preexisting ethical weaknesses in the modern social fabric's ability to respond. Distrust in government and a lessened authority of science to determine facts have both been exacerbated by the polarization and disinformation enhanced by social media. These have impaired society's willingness to comply with and persevere with social distancing, which has been the most powerful initial response to mitigate the pandemic. These preexisting weaknesses also threaten the future acceptance of vaccination and contact tracing, two other tools needed to combat epidemics. Medical ethicists might best help in this situation by promoting truth-telling, encouraging the rational adjudication of facts, providing transparent decision-making and advocating the virtue of cooperation to maximize the common good. Those interventions should be aimed at the social level. The same elements of emphasizing cooperation and beneficence also apply to the design of triage protocols for when resources are overwhelmed. A life-stages approach increases beneficence and reduces harms. Triage should be kept as simple and straightforward as reasonably possible to avoid unwieldly application during a pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Ethicists , Pandemics/prevention & control , Physical Distancing , Professional Role , Cooperative Behavior , Decision Making/ethics , Humans , Resource Allocation/ethics , SARS-CoV-2 , Triage/ethics , Truth Disclosure/ethics
17.
HEC Forum ; 33(1-2): 91-107, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1081475

ABSTRACT

Responding to a major pandemic and planning for allocation of scarce resources (ASR) under crisis standards of care requires coordination and cooperation across federal, state and local governments in tandem with the larger societal infrastructure. Maryland remains one of the few states with no state-endorsed ASR plan, despite having a plan published in 2017 that was informed by public forums across the state. In this article, we review strengths and weaknesses of Maryland's response to COVID-19 and the role of the Maryland Healthcare Ethics Committee Network (MHECN) in bridging gaps in the state's response to prepare health care facilities for potential implementation of ASR plans. Identified "lessons learned" include: Deliberative Democracy Provided a Strong Foundation for Maryland's ASR Framework; Community Consensus is Informative, Not Normative; Hearing Community Voices Has Inherent Value; Lack of Transparency & Political Leadership Gaps Generate a Fragmented Response; Pandemic Politics Requires Diplomacy & Persistence; Strong Leadership is Needed to Avoid Implementing ASR … And to Plan for ASR; An Effective Pandemic Response Requires Coordination and Information-Sharing Beyond the Acute Care Hospital; and The Ability to Correct Course is Crucial: Reconsidering No-visitor Policies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Delivery of Health Care/ethics , Ethics Committees , Resource Allocation/ethics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Maryland/epidemiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
18.
Camb Q Healthc Ethics ; 30(1): 51-58, 2021 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1047906

ABSTRACT

While the world rushed to develop treatments for COVID-19, some turned hopefully to drug repurposing (drug repositioning). However, little study has addressed issues of drug repurposing in emergency situations from a broader perspective, taking into account the social and ethical ramifications. When drug repurposing is employed in emergency situations, the fairness of resource distribution becomes an issue that requires careful ethical consideration.This paper examines the drug repurposing in emergency situations focusing on the fairness using Japanese cases. Ethical issues under these circumstances addressed by the authors include: maintaining the evidence level, integrity of clinical research ethics, and voluntary consent by original indication patients. In order to address these issues, they argue that rapid accumulation of ethically and scientifically valid evidence is required, as is obtaining information on resource quantity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , Drug Repositioning/ethics , Humans , Resource Allocation/ethics , SARS-CoV-2
19.
Recenti Prog Med ; 111(4): 212-222, 2020 Apr.
Article in Italian | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1024443

ABSTRACT

On 6 March 2020, the Italian Society of Anaesthesia Analgesia Resuscitation and Intensive care (SIAARTI) published the document "Clinical Ethics Recommendations for Admission to and Suspension of Intensive Care in Exceptional Conditions of Imbalance between Needs and Available Resources". The document, which aims to propose treatment decision-making criteria in the face of exceptional imbalances between health needs and available resources, has produced strong reactions, within the medical-scientific community, in the academic world, and in the media. In the current context of international public health emergency caused by the CoViD-19 epidemic, this work aims to explain the ethical, deontological and legal bases of the SIAARTI Document and to propose methodologic and argumentative integrations that are useful for understanding and placing in context the decision-making criteria proposed. The working group that contributed to the drafting of this paper agrees that it is appropriate that healthcare personnel, who is particularly committed to taking care of those who are currently in need of intensive or sub-intensive care, should benefit from clear operational indications that are useful to orient care and, at the same time, that the population should know in advance which criteria will guide the tragic choices that may fall on each one of us. This contribution therefore firstly reflects on the appropriateness of the SIAARTI standpoint and the objectives of the SIAARTI Document. It then turns to demonstrate how the recommendations it proposes can be framed within a shared interdisciplinary, ethical, deontological and legal perspective.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections , Critical Care , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Resource Allocation/ethics , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Critical Care/ethics , Critical Care/legislation & jurisprudence , Health Resources , Health Services Needs and Demand , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Interdisciplinary Communication , Italy , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Practice Guidelines as Topic , Resource Allocation/legislation & jurisprudence , SARS-CoV-2
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