Depends love, depends

‘Frail’ people like me should not be denied lifesaving Covid care
Patience Owen
A frailty index is rationing treatment for older and disabled people who catch coronavirus. We are not sacrificial lambs

No one’s suggesting exposure on a hillside. Well, given that we’ve not allowed the Fabians to institute eugenics we’re not.

So no one is saying you shouldn’t get treated. Except if we get into a triage situation where we have to ration the available treatment – machinery, ICU space, whatever. And then, yes, you are at the back of the queue. And why wouldn’t this be true?

17 thoughts on “Depends love, depends”

  1. Rationing is pretty much guaranteed with state healthcare provision.

    Unless the Graun now wants to move to a different system?

  2. > then, yes, you are at the back of the queue. And why wouldn’t this be true?
    I don’t see why it would just naturally be true. You would have to make the moral case for triage over, say, a lottery.

    Then distinguish it from “these people have stuff so let’s take it”. I personally can’t see a way to separate the two: if you can take healthcare from the elderly and give it to the young on the basis that they will benefit from it more, surely you can make the exact same argument WRT the rich and money.

  3. Moose: If you can take healthcare from the elderly and give it to the young on the basis that they will benefit from it more, surely you can make the exact same argument WRT the rich and money.

    Certainly you could but you would have had to have lost one or two critical faculties first. The elderly don’t own the healthcare but the rich do own the money.

  4. >The elderly don’t own the healthcare
    Yes they do, they paid for it just like the hypothetical youths did. Just the same as an insurance policy.

  5. Yes they do, they paid for it just like the hypothetical youths did

    Well on that basis let’s agree that the business models of the NHS and Nigeria Airways have a lot in common.

  6. Doesn’t make sense to stop at just age, surely you’d need to value the life, e.g. 70 year old poet laureate, 65 year old business person employing hundreds, 60 year old mother and grandmother to numerous children and grandchildren, 25 year old Waynetta from Essex.

  7. The NHS has a business model? Read Christopher Brookmyre’s Quite Ugly One Morning for a fictional (perhaps?) account of the NHS and medical business.

  8. DocBud September 29, 2020 at 11:03 am – “Doesn’t make sense to stop at just age, surely you’d need to value the life, e.g. 70 year old poet laureate”

    Zero. Less than if possible.

  9. SMFS.. Given the usual output of a Poet Laureate.. Kill him off.. Saves the world more waffle, and might make the rights to his works worth something to whoever holds them.. 😉

  10. Grikath: Naughty, boy (or girl) “Kill him or her off.”

    Poets Laureates include Wordsworth, Tennyson and Betjeman, who penned the immortal words (albeit before he was Poet Laureate:

    Come friendly bombs and fall on Slough!
    It isn’t fit for humans now,

  11. ICU’s have been ‘prioritising’ admissions and rationing healthcare for ever, it’s a day to day part of life there and in many other parts of NHS, likelihood to survive being a key factor along with age (now more politely called a frailty index).

  12. Except if we get into a triage situation where we have to ration the available treatment – machinery, ICU space, whatever. And then, yes, you are at the back of the queue. And why wouldn’t this be true?

    It should only be true if her chronic condition impacts her response to treatment, and thus her likelihood of surviving. Her point is that her placement on a frailty index designed for one purpose will be misused as an arbitrary survivability score for COVID-19 infection / intervention. Her point is fair.

  13. I don’t see why it would just naturally be true. You would have to make the moral case for triage over, say, a lottery.

    Would you make this case in a war situation? The guy with a bullet through the leg gets the same chance as being operated on as a guy with a bad gut wound when there is only one operating bed? Are you suggesting 80 year olds with heart trouble could win the lottery for heart replacement over otherwise healthy 18 year olds.

    The moral case for triage is well known and applied all the time. The alternative is unnecessary overall deaths.

    I would be horrified if my very frail dad was given scarce treatment, only to die anyway, and thereby killed someone who could be saved.

  14. Perhaps, in a system where the state wasn’t the final arbiter of such things, you wouldn’t be left without treatment.

    But rationing is going to happen one way or the other. If she were in the US she’d be complaining about not being able to afford the price.

  15. But rationing is going to happen one way or the other. If she were in the USSR she’d be complaining about not having the right connections.

    Not that you got to complain in the USSR. At least not publically.

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