The Elderly In the U.S. Need Not Apply...

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Old No7
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The Elderly In the U.S. Need Not Apply...

#1 Post by Old No7 » Thu Mar 26, 2020 2:12 pm

As a follow-up to the "The elderly in England need not apply..." posting below...

News reports are now saying that doctors and hospital administrators in the U.S. are openly debating the use of "Do Not Resuscitate" orders for those with the coronavirus when their heart or breathing stops -- due to the risks to doctors and nurses or the shortage of needed equipment that might help someone else live.

Yet another good reason to "shelter in place"...

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KWK
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Re: The Elderly In the U.S. Need Not Apply...

#2 Post by KWK » Thu Mar 26, 2020 3:59 pm

I heard that, too. It makes sense to tend the young over the old when resources are scarce. We older folks have had our chance at life. Time to make way for our descendants.

That there is scarcity is annoying, of course. It appears to have been caused by the federal bureaucracy first, Trump's failure to oversee said, and the state governors trying to palm all responsibility off on to the feds. Other countries have done a far better job than ours (including S.Korea and Germany). At least we're not so bad off (yet) as Italy and Spain. Switzerland is starting to look worrisome, too.

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Re: The Elderly In the U.S. Need Not Apply...

#3 Post by FWiedner » Thu Mar 26, 2020 4:24 pm

KWK wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 3:59 pm
I heard that, too. It makes sense to tend the young over the old when resources are scarce. We older folks have had our chance at life. Time to make way for our descendants.

That there is scarcity is annoying, of course. It appears to have been caused by the federal bureaucracy first, Trump's failure to oversee said, and the state governors trying to palm all responsibility off on to the feds. Other countries have done a far better job than ours (including S.Korea and Germany). At least we're not so bad off (yet) as Italy and Spain. Switzerland is starting to look worrisome, too.
No offense, but I disagree with much of what you've said.

:|
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Re: The Elderly In the U.S. Need Not Apply...

#4 Post by jeepnik » Thu Mar 26, 2020 5:06 pm

Hey, I have as much to life as anyone else. If I die because they fail to do everything humanly possible I hope my family sues the sh@t out of them.
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Re: The Elderly In the U.S. Need Not Apply...

#5 Post by GunnyMack » Thu Mar 26, 2020 5:19 pm

KWK wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 3:59 pm
I heard that, too. It makes sense to tend the young over the old when resources are scarce. We older folks have had our chance at life. Time to make way for our descendants.

That there is scarcity is annoying, of course. It appears to have been caused by the federal bureaucracy first, Trump's failure to oversee said, and the state governors trying to palm all responsibility off on to the feds. Other countries have done a far better job than ours (including S.Korea and Germany). At least we're not so bad off (yet) as Italy and Spain. Switzerland is starting to look worrisome, too.
Just saw the US now has more confirmed cases than China or Italy...

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Re: The Elderly In the U.S. Need Not Apply...

#6 Post by KWK » Thu Mar 26, 2020 7:43 pm

FWiedner wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 4:24 pm
No offense, but I disagree with much of what you've said.
No offense taken, but I don't see where there is much to argue over.

Regions of Italy a week ago reached the point where there wasn't enough equipment on hand to save every one badly infected. Everyone there is covered equally by insurance so can pay. In this case, and since somebody has to go without, I can see no reason to select an 80 year old over, say, a 40 year old. Now, if you have the case of some active, 60 year old research scientist vs a 20 year old drug addict, okay, but it's unlikely the doctor in the hospital triage will have such information.

Reports last week detailed the CDC had a "Not Invented Here" attitude towards creation of virus test kits. The FDA backed them up, so no private company could jump in right away. The CDC botched their first batch of kits, and we ended up flying blind on infection rates and locations. They've backed off and are letting other tests and test locations, but it's a little late; the Bad Genie is out of the bottle now. S. Korea and Germany both encouraged private production of tests and ventilators ahead of the surge in cases, back when Trump and Cuomo were saying it will soon blow over. The annoying thing is Trump knew he was dealing with the swamp yet apparently didn't send any of his minions to check on them.

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Re: The Elderly In the U.S. Need Not Apply...

#7 Post by AJMD429 » Thu Mar 26, 2020 8:09 pm

'Triaging' is always an issue when there are insufficient resources to sustain life.

Some would say just do it 'randomly' by lottery.
Some would say the salvageability of the person is key.
Some would say use a pure/simple criteria, like age alone.
Some would say use economics, and let price dictate who receives care.
Some would say use a complex set of criteria, involving that person's potential to help others.

None of those ways are pleasant.

The pricing/economic method is probably the closest to 'nature' - survival of the fittest, or most prepared.

The salvageability method may be one of the more practical, but depending on the pace and duration of the problem, sometimes it is best to prioritize the 'easy' fixes, and sometimes those get sidelined and resources are focused on the 'worst' cases; usually the latter is the practice when things aren't completely out of control, then it shifts to focusing resources on the more easy to fix, because it is assumed the worst ones really won't survive.

The complex valuation of the person's potential future as benefitting society is perhaps the best, and is 'fair' to the extent that the resources are being PROVIDED by the society that stands to also benefit if they help the right individuals.

The random/lottery method gives everyone an excuse to feel good for not having consciously chosen against anyone, but certainly could wind up 'misallocating resources' to put it politely.

In the real world, the situations necessitating 'triage' are usually not ones that allow time for complex decisions or committee meetings. So we usually settle on a fairly 'simple' method - such as 'age', which can be applied objectively. Sometimes people with a scarce skill that is pertinent to the crisis might be given preference.

And of course many real heroic individuals who 'qualify' for a treatment may let someone who doesn't qualify take their place, if the 'system' allows it.
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