Member-supported news for Southern California
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Support for KPCC comes from:

COVID-19: Difficult Ethical Considerations For Care And Treatment

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA  - MARCH 26: Healthcare professionals screen people entering the emergency room at Highland Hospital on March 26, 2020 in Oakland, California. Dozens of health care workers with Alameda Health System staged a protest to demand better working conditions and that proper personal protective equipment be provided in the effort to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Healthcare professionals screen people entering the emergency room at Highland Hospital on March 26, 2020 in Oakland, California.

With the coronavirus rapidly spreading throughout the United States, hospitals and medical facilities are now face to face with extremely difficult decisions around how to care for patients.

With the coronavirus rapidly spreading throughout the United States, hospitals and medical facilities are now face to face with extremely difficult decisions around how to care for patients. 

According to the Washington Post, some hospitals, including Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, are now considering “do not resuscitate” orders for COVID-19 patients. That’s because resuscitation and an all hands on deck approach poses extreme risks to healthcare providers who could come into contact with the virus. There’s already major concerns that hospitals will become overrun with patients leaving front-line workers drowning. With shortages of equipment and ventilators, doctors may have to make difficult decisions about who to prioritize with care. It’s unclear when and where these types of decisions could come into play, but many in the medical community are working on guidelines for rationing as the pandemic continues to worsen. Today on AirTalk, we discuss the ethics behind these decisions with experts. Do you have a question? Call: 866-893-5722.

Guests:

Aaron Kheriaty, M.D., associate professor of psychiatry and director of the Medical Ethics Program at the School of Medicine at UC Irvine, he’s a member of the UC Office of the President’s Critical Care and Bioethics Task Force, which is establishing University of California hospital guidelines on these issues; he tweets

Lydia Dugdale, M.D., associate professor of medicine and director of the Center for Clinical Medical Ethics at Columbia University, author of “The Lost Art of Dying” (HarperOne, 2020)

Stay Connected