Bioethics 31 (4):467-475 (2017)

Authors
Efrat Ram Tiktin
Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan
Abstract
Natural disasters in populated areas may result in massive casualties and extensive destruction of infrastructure. Humanitarian aid delegations may have to cope with the complicated issue of patient prioritization under conditions of severe resource scarcity. A triage model, consisting of five principles, is proposed for the prioritization of patients, and it is argued that rational and reasonable agents would agree upon them. The Israel Defense Force's humanitarian mission to Haiti following the 2010 earthquake serves as a case study for the various considerations taken into account when designing the ethical-clinical policy of field hospitals. The discussion focuses on three applications: the decision to include an intensive care unit, the decision to include obstetrics and neonatal units, and the treatment policy for compound fractures.
Keywords patient prioritization  triage  humanitarian aid  scarcity  field hospital
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DOI 10.1111/bioe.12352
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