Who Should Decide When Someone Lives or Dies?

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Currents News Staff

The pandemic is raising the most fundamental moral questions about life and death. New York’s health care system is overwhelmed, running out of hospital beds and life-saving equipment.

A huge issue facing doctors and nurses: they don’t have enough ventilators for all the patients who need them. Now, the prospect of medical rationing has arisen. 

The Emergency Medical Services Council of New York is issuing guidance to EMS first responders that if a cardiac arrest victim’s heart can’t be restarted, don’t bring that person to the hospital. Instead, the patient will be left to die.

Deciding who gets treated and who doesn’t is a moral issue as much as a medical one.

How should we as a Church behave during this terrible crisis and could lines get blurred?

Joining Currents News to discuss the ethical considerations is John Brehany, an ethicist with the National Catholic Bioethics Center.