Ethical and legal aspects of triage in times of COVID-19 epidemic

Etični in pravni vidiki triaže ob epidemiji COVID-19

Pandemija covid-19 je v večini držav po svetu povzročila resne preobremenitve zdravstvenega sistema. Ob takšnih preobremenitvah prihaja do t. i. kolizij dolžnosti: zaradi premalo osebja,  tehničnih sredstev ali pomanjkanja drugih virov ustrezne zdravstvene oskrbe ni mogoče zagotoviti vsem pacientom, ki bi jo potrebovali. Te situacije povzročajo neznosen pritisk na odločevalce, ki so soočeni z izbiro, komu od pacientov ponuditi možnost preživetja. S tem v zvezi se opirajo kompleksne etične in pravne dileme, o katerih smo v preteklosti razpravljali zlasti na podlagi hipotetičnih scenarijev. Kriza, ki jo je povzročil covid-19, pa nas je prisilila, da o teh dilemah ponovno razmislimo in ponudimo jasne in pregledne odgovore na etične in pravne izzive, s katerimi smo kot družba soočeni.

In several countries the Covid-19 pandemic has caused situations in which the health care system was severely overburdened. In such situations different collisions of duties appear: due to a shortage of personnel, technical equipment or other resources, adequate medical care cannot be provided to all of the patients that would need it. Such situations may cause an immense burden to decision-makers, who are put in a position to choose whom to offer a chance of survival. This kind of choice opens complex ethical and legal dilemmas, which have been in the past addressed mostly on the basis of hypothetical scenarios. The Covid-19 crisis has urged us to rethink those issues and to offer clear and transparent answers to ethical and legal challenges, with which we are faced as a society.

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