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Denying Ventilators to Covid-19 Patients with Prior DNR Orders is Unethical

External Link - Source: The Hastings Center

When deciding which patients with Covid-19 should get scarce ventilators, should hospitals consider a person’s DNR status – the previously stated wish not to receive cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to restart the heart and breathing after cardiac arrest? This would seem irrelevant to ventilator allocation, and yet some existing and proposed guidelines for triage during a public health emergency put DNR status in the list of criteria for excluding patients from getting ventilators or other life-saving health care. This approach is in direct opposition to the generally agreed-upon goal of maximizing the number of survivors, and could result in confusion and public mistrust of the health care system.

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