These are difficult times and hence, rather than our newsletter, I am adding this special webpage to summarize what GBI is doing to make known the available resources to help understand the ethical issues that we now face. These include the following:
- In conjunction with the Hastings Center, GBI signed a petition demanding the federal government to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic as a matter of moral imperative and voicing strong support for the production of the medical supplies our hospitals need so desperately. The following day, Administration officials said they would act on the authorities they had in the Defense Production Act, but so far nothing has happened.
- GBI is hosting a free webinar on April 2 from 3 – 4pm featuring Dr. Syra Madad at NYC Health + Hospitals & Dr. Saskia Popescu. Register here: https://us04web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_oqHkMS36T5Gn40FLbfXu6g
See Interview with Dr. Popescu, click here or cut and paste: https://soundcloud.com/authorsontheair/interview-with-dr-saskia-popescu-aomd-episode-32
- Hospitals consider changes to do-not-resuscitate situations amid coronavirus pandemic: https://edition.cnn.com/2020/03/26/health/coronavirus-hospitals-do-not-resuscitate-bn/index.html
- I have made several presentations to various audiences at The University of Maryland Medical Center regarding the ethical framework that should be used to ration scarce resources during a pandemic. Click here to view the slide deck.
- This ethical framework is based on guiding documents from the New York State Task Force and the Maryland Framework for the Allocation of Scarce Resources.
Ethical Resources on the COVID-19 Pandemic
The Hastings Center developed a resource for health care institutions and ethics services to support leadership and practice during the coronavirus public health emergency: Ethical Framework for Health Care Institutions Responding to Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19); Guidelines for Institutional Ethics Services Responding to COVID-19: https://www.thehastingscenter.org/ethicalframeworkcovid19
Hastings developed a pandemic ethics briefing, adapted from work by Alexandra Minna Stern and Howard Markel, that examines the ethics of quarantine, school closures, and social distancing. It offers principles to guide implementation of these measures: https://www.thehastingscenter.org/briefingbook/pandemic/
Articles from the New England Journal of Medicine addressing ethical issues in the COVID-19 Pandemic:
a. The Toughest Triage — Allocating Ventilators in a Pandemic
b. Fair Allocation of Scarce Medical Resources
Henry Silverman, MD, MA
Ethicist and Professor of Medicine
University of Maryland School of Medicine