The American College of Chest Physicians released an expert consensus statement, Care of the Critically Ill and Injured During Pandemics and Disasters
while the global health-care community cares for patients with the Ebola virus.Three of the authors discussed this important statement with MedicalResearch.com.
Asha V. Devereaux, MD, MPH
Jeffrey R. Dichter, MD
Allina Health, Minneapolis, MN
and Aurora Health, Milwaukee, WI
Niranjan Kissoon, MBBS, FRCP(C)
BC Children’s Hospital and Sunny Hill Health Centre
University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
Medical Research: What are the main ethical concerns and criteria for evaluating who may be eligible for treatment during a pandemic or disaster?
Dr. Asha Devereaux: The main ethical concerns regarding eligibility for treatment during a pandemic will be access to limited or scarce resources. Who should get treatment and who decides will be some significant questions whenever there is a scarcity of healthcare resources. Transparency and the fairness of the ethical framework for decision-making will need to be made public and updated based upon the changing dynamics of resources and disease process.
Dr. Niranjan Kissoon: There is work to be done in this area and engagement of citizens, government, medical community, ethicists and legal experts in the process is important.