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The Nice guidelines on who to keep alive aren't pragmatic, they're discriminatory

2 175 735
09.04.2020

In a pandemic, triage starts long before some of us get sick. A new document issued by the British Medical Association (BMA) has set out guidance to ration treatment if the NHS becomes overwhelmed with coronavirus cases.

The BMA suggests that in cases where ventilators are scarce, those facing poor prognosis could have the life-saving equipment taken away from them – even if their condition is improving – with younger and healthier patients given priority instead.

We are already seeing this play out. Last week, one man tweeted that his brother, who lives in a care home with limited mobility and a cognitive disability, went to hospital with a chest infection but didn’t make “the pandemic-led prioritisation cut”. He died a week later.

Meanwhile, it has been reported that a GP practice in Wales issued “do not resuscitate” (DNR) forms to a small number of patients, ensuring that emergency services would not be called should they contract coronavirus and their symptoms worsen. One adult social care provider has said that three of their services have been contacted by GPs to say that they have deemed the people they support should all be DNR. One woman who has received the form so far is in her 20s.

These stories of disabled and older people being denied care have been emerging for weeks as the virus has struck........

© The Guardian