Bioethicists have already considered how to decide who gets a ventilator when supplies run short
New York state has guidelines on how medical staff should decide which patients will get a ventilator during a pandemic. Thomas Curran, MD, a member of the bioethics and humanities faculty at Upstate, explains how the entire health care system changes during a pandemic. "All of a sudden you have to shift from patient-centered practice to patient care that's really guided by public health considerations," Curran says. He walks through three considerations in the state guidelines for whether a person gets a ventilator. Click here for an article about the "who lives, who dies?" dilemma that is discussed in the interview.
Note: If you are running a fever along with a cough or shortness of breath and are concerned about a possible coronavirus infection, contact your primary care doctor. If do not have a primary care doctor or are uninsured, call the Upstate COVID-19 hotline at 315-464-3979, and someone will tell you whether you should be tested. The number will be staffed from 7 a.m. until 11 p.m. For questions about the disease, call the New York State Department of Health Coronavirus Hotline at 888-364-3065. Click here for COVID-19 information from Upstate.