Public health emergencies invariably entail difficult decisions among medical and emergency first responders about how to allocate essential, scarce resources. To the extent that these critical choices can profoundly impact community and individual health outcomes, achieving consistency in how these decisions are executed is valuable. Since the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, however, public and private sector allocation plans and decisions have followed uncertain paths. Lacking empirical evidence and national input, various entities and actors have proffered multifarious approaches on how best to allocate scarce resources to protect the public's health. Though beneficial in some jurisdictions, these approaches fail to clarify how the type and amount of care delivered in major emergencies might be curtailed. This is due, in part, to a lack of meaningful guidance on shifting standards of care in major emergencies.
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DOI 10.1111/jlme.12039
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