(AmericanProsperity.com) – Under normal circumstances, hospitals and doctors are duty-bound to keep patients alive unless they have a “do not resuscitate” (DNR) order on file. Some hospitals across the country are now in the unenviable position of considering blanket DNR orders for those infected with COVID-19, even if it’s against the wishes of the patient’s family. This drastic consideration comes as hospitals are struggling to get personal protective equipment (PPE) for doctors, nurses, and others who care for those with the virus.
University of Pennsylvania Bioethicist Dr. Scott Halpern wrote a model guideline that’s being circulated among the medical community. He’s concerned about the risk healthcare providers are assuming as they care for infected COVID-19 patients who go into cardiac arrest. One of Halpern’s concerns is that the chances of a patient with COVID-19 surviving a cardiac arrest are extremely small.
Appreciate @arianaeunjung bringing this important issue to light. Would like to remind readers that for in-hospital cardiac arrest, the chances of surviving with even moderate cognitive function are extremely small, with or without COVID. Key starting point for this discussion. https://t.co/20cX6ueYxx
— Scott Halpern (@ScottHalpernMD) March 26, 2020
Halpern said that it may be unfair to risk helping one patient if that means not being able to care for future patients. The chief medical officer at George Washington University Hospital said forcing a DNR order on coronavirus victims is not “necessarily the right approach” and the hospital isn’t going in that direction. Instead, safer measures are being more heavily considered during these trying times.
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