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Straight Talk MD

I’m a skeptic searching for the truth in all matters related to science and medicine, especially where it intersects with economics, politics, and public health. The truth is out there and we’re going to find it together...
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Straight Talk MD
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Apr 8, 2020

In Wuhan China and later Italy, the healthcare system was rapidly overrun with critically ill patients and insufficient resources to save them all. When the population’s health needs vastly exceeded the system’s capacity, “utilitarian ethics” quickly replaced normal medical ethics; disaster standards of care replaced normal standards of care. Ventilators and drugs in short supply were allocated only to those patients most likely to survive; family members were not allowed to visit dying relatives in the hospital, and CPR was suspended for COVID-19 patients. Entire countries have been shut down with catastrophic economic consequences to tens of millions of people in an attempt to contain the virus. In each case, the health of the community trumped the needs of the individual. Bioethicists Arthur Caplan and Gregory Pence discuss the complex ethical issues we face in a COVID-19 world.

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