If there’s a ventilator shortage, doctors and ethicists say priority should be given to people with the best chance of recovery and most years likely left to live

If there’s a ventilator shortage, doctors and ethicists say priority should be given to people with the best chance of recovery and most years likely left to live

By Alice Klein
Governments are trying to increase the number of ventilators available in hospitals
Sudok1/Getty Images
If the coronavirus pandemic causes a shortage of ventilators, who will be attached to these potentially life-saving machines and who won’t?
This is the grim question doctors around the world are currently grappling with. Life-or-death choices are already being made in Italy, where covid-19 has claimed more than 7500 lives. Doctors in Bergamo in northern Italy have said that “older patients are not being resuscitated and die alone” because hospital resources are so overstretched with cases.
According to data from China, about 2 per cent …

Share