Risk and Resource Allocation in Times of Crisis
The COVID-19 pandemic has raised challenging questions about the allocation of both risk and resources in healthcare: Who should receive priority for scare ventilators? If a vaccine is developed, how should the first doses be allocated? How much risk should front-line healthcare workers be expected to endure and should they be compensated with prioritization in care if they become ill? All of these challenging decisions occur against a background of healthcare systems that ration resources, often invisibly and irrationally, in non-pandemic times. This talk will explore some of the ethical challenges raised by COVID-19 and the implications of how we address these challenges for medicine in the post-pandemic world.