Journal of Medical Ethics 46 (7):455-458 (2020)

Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has generated an imbalance between the clinical needs of the population and the effective availability of advanced life support resources. Triage protocols have thus become necessary. Triage decisions in situations of scarce resources were not extraordinary in the pre-COVID-19 era; these protocols abounded in the context of organ transplantation. However, this prior experience was not considered during the COVID-19 outbreak in Spain. Lacking national guidance or public coordination, each hospital has been forced to put forth independent and autonomous triage protocols, most of which were, nonetheless, based on common ethical principles and clinical criteria. However, controversial, non-clinical criteria have also been defended by Spanish scientific societies and public institutions, including setting an age cut-off value for unilaterally withholding ALS, using ‘social utility’ criteria, prioritising healthcare professionals or using ‘first come, first served’ policies. This paper describes the most common triage criteria used in the Spanish context during the COVID-19 epidemic. We will highlight our missed opportunities by comparing these criteria to those used in organ transplantation protocols. The problems posed by subjective, non-clinical criteria will also be discussed. We hope that this critical review might be of use to countries at earlier stages of the epidemic while we learn from our mistakes.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1136/medethics-2020-106352
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 71,436
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Partiality, Impartiality and the Ethics of Triage.Ndukaku Okorie - 2019 - Developing World Bioethics 19 (2):76-85.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

COVID-19 and Justice.John McMillan - 2020 - Journal of Medical Ethics 46 (10):639-640.
COVID-19 Current Controversies.Jennifer Blumenthal-Barby - 2020 - Journal of Medical Ethics 46 (7):419-420.

View all 10 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Three Problems Regarding Medical Triage.T. R. Girill - 1980 - Metamedicine 1 (2):135-153.
Paper: Enhancing the Fairness of Pandemic Critical Care Triage.Jeffrey Kirby - 2010 - Journal of Medical Ethics 36 (12):758-761.
A Relational Analysis of Pandemic Critical Care Triage Protocols.Chris Kaposy & Sarah Khraishi - 2012 - International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics 5 (1):70-90.
Impacts of COVID19 Pandemic on Care of the Patients with Cancer.Esra Bilir - 2020 - Eubios Journal of Asian and International Bioethics 30 (3):111-113.
Ethical Considerations for Epidemic Vaccine Trials.Joshua Teperowski Monrad - 2020 - Journal of Medical Ethics 46 (7):465-469.
From Futility to Triage.R. A. Gatter & J. C. Moskop - 1995 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 20 (2):191-205.
The Ethics of Pandemics.Meredith Celene Schwartz (ed.) - 2020 - Broadview Press.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2020-05-19

Total views
54 ( #212,208 of 2,520,385 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #405,718 of 2,520,385 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes