Choosing Wisely

      At first glance, the arguments of “Ethics, Personal Responsibility and the Pandemic: A New Triage Paradigm” make reasonable sense (
      • Iserson KV
      Ethics, personal responsibility and the pandemic: a new triage paradigm.
      ). If resources are truly limited and individuals are making choices that put them at higher risk of not only falling ill themselves but also injuring others, there might be a fulfillment of “justice” in down-triaging such patients.
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        • Iserson KV
        Ethics, personal responsibility and the pandemic: a new triage paradigm.
        J Emerg Med. 2022; 62: 508-512

      Linked Article

      • Ethics, Personal Responsibility and the Pandemic: A New Triage Paradigm
        Journal of Emergency MedicineVol. 62Issue 4
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          Background: How much of a role should personal responsibility play in triage criteria? Because voluntarily unvaccinated people are not fulfilling their societal obligations during a pandemic, the ethical principle of justice demands that they reap the egalitarian consequences. These consequences could include lower priority for care, an increasing number of employer and government mandates, and restrictions to entering many entertainment venues. Discussion: Voluntarily unvaccinated individuals increase the chance that the COVID-19 virus will mutate and spread, endangering the entire population, but especially those who cannot get vaccinated for medical reasons, children for whom vaccines have yet to be approved, and older adult and immunocompromised people for whom the vaccine is less effective.
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      • Response to Dr. Strote (letter)
        Journal of Emergency MedicineVol. 63Issue 1
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          I appreciate Dr. Strote's letter. As I warned might happen, he extended the idea of using personal responsibility in some crises triage scenarios beyond its original scope, disregarding the article's explicit caveats (1).
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