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"Universal DNR for Coronavirus patients?"

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Re: "Universal DNR for Coronavirus patients?"

I applaud them for making the attempt to think through the legal and ethical ramifications given that they face a situation they've never faced before.  It is tough. There is a shortage of personal protective equipment.  Even a week ago, we had enough.  I've already dealt with a patient today where we had only one helmet mask for the patient, and each nurse and doctor in turn had to use that mask, see the patient, and then wipe it down for the next person to use.  If that patient had coded today, every health care worker (but one) responding to that code would have had to go into the room relatively unprotected - a guarantee that some would be infected.  Even the smallest code teams need 5 or more folks - so yeah, hospital systems are struggling to figure out what to do.  Dammed by some if they do, and dammed by others if they don't.

In Italy, they had to face letting some people die for lack of intervention in favor of others thought to have a better chance of surviving.  When there is a shortage we have to make very hard choices - but doctors, patients, hospitals, and societies are going to have to make them.  In a few weeks or months, we'll have the resources - but in the short term, it is a mess.


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