Posted on July 3, 2020 at 4:00 AM
Stephen Latham has a brief insightful commentary in the May/June 2020 Hastings Center Report noting that the recent focus on hospital triage issues dramatically highlights the extent to which we are still doing end-of-life medicine badly.
Latham observes that typical triage policy “has teeth—saves resources and lives—only if the regular practice of hospitals outside pandemic emergency is to offer intensive and invasive treatment to patients who, in the judgment of their treating physicians, will not survive that treatment.”
And “it is the practice of hospitals to offer such treatment. . . . Every intensivist in America can name a patient in their unit right now who is receiving invasive critical care at the request of proxy decision-makers but will not survive to discharge.”