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Author Archive: Joseph Stramondo

About Joseph Stramondo


by Joseph Stramondo, PhD

Recently, I have argued that there doesn’t seem to be any set of rationing criteria that can entirely avoid ableist bias, but there are worse and better options for distributing scarce resources during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, by narrowly focusing on triage protocols as the most morally salient problem that we face during this unprecedented era, perhaps we are not even advancing the most important conversation.  In fact, feminist philosopher of disability, Shelley Tremain, argues that bioethicists should shift the focus of the conversation altogether because targeting these protocols as the primary object of our analysis seems to sanction the idea that these hard choices are inevitabilities. …

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by Joseph Stramondo, Ph.D.

While I have warned against using quality of life criteria when developing triage protocol, what about the strategy of using as a criterion the likelihood of whether a patient will survive COVID-19 even with aggressive treatment? On the face of it, this seems safer from ableist bias than the previously examined quality of life criterion. After all, even Ne’eman – who defends the view that the best way to avoid ableist bias is for people to be cared for on a first come first served basis, regardless of other factors – admits that patients should not be provided with futile care that will not actually save their life from the virus. …

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by Joseph Stramondo, PhD

Bioethicists and physicians scrambling to develop triage protocols for the COVID-19 crisis might have been surprised that counsel from Self Advocates in Leadership (SAIL), Disability Rights Washington (DRW), and The Arc of the United States (The Arc) filed a complaint recently with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) over their concerns regarding disability discrimination in some of these protocols. Perhaps it is easy to dismiss such concerns as mere naivete that does not recognize the inevitability of the hard choices that are coming down the pike in the United States.…

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