Journal of Comparative Effectiveness Research Vol. No. | Special Report

No protocol and no liability: a call for COVID crisis guidelines that protect vulnerable populations

Summary

The COVID-19 pandemic is revealing the unacceptable health disparities across New York City and the wider USA. The mortality rates of vulnerable and minority populations alone suggest a need to re-evaluate clinical decision making protocols, especially given the recently passed Emergency or Disaster Treatment Protection Act, which grants healthcare institutions full immunity from liability stemming from resource allocation/triage decisions.

In this article, investigators from Stanford University School of Medicine (CA, USA) and New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medicine (NY, USA) examine the disparity literature against resource allocation guidelines, contending that these guidelines may propagate allocation of resources along ableist, ageist and racial biases. They make the claim that the state must successfully develop ones that ensure the just treatment of our most vulnerable.

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