Elderly, people with disabilities would be denied care
From the Associated Press:
Doctors know some patients needing lifesaving care won’t get it in a flu pandemic or other disaster. The gut-wrenching dilemma will be deciding who to let die.
Now, an influential group of physicians has drafted a grimly specific list of recommendations for which patients wouldn’t be treated.
The suggested list was compiled by a task force whose members come from prestigious universities, medical groups, the military and government agencies. They include the Department of Homeland Security, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Health and Human Services.
On the list of those not to be treated are:
- People older than 85
- Those with “severe mental impairment”;
- Those with a severe chronic disease, including advanced heart failure, lung disease of poorly controlled diabetes;
- People with severe trauma.
Public health law expert Lawrence Gostin of Georgetown University called the report an important initiative but also ”a political minefield and a legal minefield.” The recommendations would probably violate federal laws against age discrimination and disability discrimination, said Gostin, who was not on the task force.
… The recommendations appear in a report in the May edition of Chest, the medical journal of the American College of Chest Physicians.
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