Enlarge Image Shutterstock When lifesaving medicines run low, hospitals have to choose which patients get a scarce drug. Ethicists historically have recommended giving the drug to the patient most likely to benefit or using a lottery.
Not any more. Pennsylvania hospitals are tilting the scale in favor of patients from “disadvantaged areas.” If you’re middle class, you’re toast. To “redress social injustices,” Pennsylvania is applying a “weighted lottery” statewide, to hike the odds that the scarce drug remdesivir for COVID-19 will be given to patients from poor neighborhoods.
Remdesivir is a medicine that speeds recovery and increases survival chances by 62 percent, according to its maker. If you can get it. Your zip code could literally mean the difference between life and death.
“This is all very new,” explains Douglas White, an ethicist at the University of Pittsburgh, who helped devise the weighted lottery. Some ethicists are urging other states to follow suit. If remdesivir runs short in South Carolina, the state will apply preference like the one in Pennsylvania, according to Dee Ford, a professor at the Medical University of South Carolina.
People need to speak out against this deadly scheme.
In the past, if many patients needed a scarce drug, deciding who […]
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