Has It Really Come To This In The United States?
This, is a screenshot, from a news segment, explaining what is happening to one of the hardest areas hit with the Corona Virus, New York City. It is unimaginable, in what is supposed to be the greatest and wealthiest countries in the world, that we are in a position, where patients are likely to be scored so as to prioritize who gets treated for the virus, and who does not. In other words, deciding who lives and who will die. Right now, paramedics are being tasked with determining in the field, if patients are revivable for cardiac events, if not, not to bother transporting them to the hospital.
Sadly, there will be a section of the country that cries out, “SEE! THIS IS WHAT SOCIALIZED MEDICINE LOOKS LIKE!”
No. This is what a country based on capitalism looks like.
Let me be clear. President Trump does not get blamed for the virus itself. In fact, even as he tries to defend himself casting blame at prior administrations for lower than needed efficiency, perhaps legitimate, the bottom line is, he has had three years to straighten out the supposed mess he claimed to have taken over. In his daily press show on April 3, 2020, he responded to a reporter that his priority was building up the military, claiming that the shelves were empty of ammo and other equipment. He made building up the military his priority over human health.
But that still does not explain why doctors are faced with the decision that they are today. Why are we not better prepared for this crisis with equipment and PPE in the pipeline? We have had several months to prepare for what President Trump claims the states should have been better prepared for. There is one major problem with this concept. President Trump claims he did not know about the possibility of the pandemic (which he later claims that he did), yet says the states should have prepared for it. Only President Trump receives the intelligence briefings, which stated the coming pandemic, which he ignored. But if he wants to claim he did not know about them, how could he expect the states to know about them?
The biggest travesty of all is this “shortage” of equipment. While I understand certain political philosophies of certain political parties, of which I belong to none as an independent, I know there are those who support less government involvement, beginning with the federal government. Now of course, this only applies with certain issues, but one of those issues has been declared during this emergency. It should be up to the states to take care of themselves during this crisis. The federal government will help if it has to. THIS IS BULLSHIT!
Our government, in a time when they should be taking leadership, by example, has instead taken the position to let the states handle their own situations, in some sort of Hunger Games fashion, a Darwin approach where only the strongest, or wealthiest will have the best chance to survive. States now not only bid against each other pushing the prices of equipment higher and higher, only to have the federal come in and out bid everyone else, obtaining the equipment. Clearly, we are no longer the “united” states as each state is on its own.
So now, as “hot spots” rage out of control, the realization that hospitals will not be prepared for the surge of Covid19 patients, has led local administrations to face the most tragic of decisions, who will die, and who will get to have the equipment to save their lives.
This should not be happening in our country. This is NOT socialized medicine. This is fucked up planning from the top down, starting with President Trump.
Dr. Robert Truog of the Harvard Center For Bioethics, yes, ethics is in the title of his position, ethics defined as “moral principals”, has been working with other doctors, on a guideline, or as the snapshot above suggests, a point system to help doctors determine, in a shortage, who will live and die, based solely on capitalistic stupidity.
It is likely soon, if you are an otherwise healthy person, who comes into a NYC hospital, or quite possibly any other hot spot area hospital such as New Orleans, Detroit, Los Angeles, anywhere for that matter, you will be given a priority because you have the best chance of surviving the virus.
If you are elderly, have cancer, have cardiac disease, have lung disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, or any other terminal illness, well, points on the scale are taken away which will determine your likelihood of survival, and whether or not, this type of patient should be considered for treatment.
ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME? THIS IS WHAT OUR COUNTRY HAS BECOME BECAUSE MONEY HAD TO BE SAVED SOMEWHERE, AND IT WILL COME AT THE EXPENSE OF HUMAN LIVES?
A friend and fellow long term survivor with complications of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma side effects wrote to me about our health histories in this type of crisis. We have enough against us with the health issues we deal with, and now, to be as concerned as possible, to perhaps one day face the Corona virus. Many of us have dealt with life and death situations and corrections. None of us want to die. We have not survived decades just to be taken out by either this illness or a “point system.”
The only advantage that we do have over the “healthy” population, is that we know how to prepare as best as we can for this crisis. Under normal conditions, we have no notice when we were threatened with a major cardiac event or septic infection. We have time to put our thoughts together, to protect ourselves, to prevent as best as we can, and then if necessary, to face Covid19 if we must. But it should not come down to a checklist for one human to determine the value of another for their life.
This virus is not like a sinking cruise ship where every cabin will flood, drowning every passenger remaining on the ship. The virus is not going to flood our homes or apartments like water would do a cruise ship, which is why I know that my fellow survivors are doing all we can to avoid getting Corona virus by distancing and isolating.
Some of us have expressed concern about “right to die” decisions, which will come up depending on which state your reside. For some, including myself, if more locations adapt this elimination process, we will have to decide about our honesty about our health. Which also would work against us. Because those of us long term cancer survivors have health issues that are not only not common, but neither are the treatments, and medical personnel need to be aware of the special circumstances they are dealing with. But soon, as in NYC, making awareness of this medical history is the literal pen signing our death warrant.
To be clear, I know the issues and severity of my body’s health. I have a living directive which I expect to be honored no matter what state I am in. I have actually been on a ventilator many times in my life for either my heart surgeries, or other diagnostics, but these have all been short term. It is a well known fact, the longer on a ventilator, the less likely to come off. In other words, you die. But I have made it clear, a ventilator may be used on me, to allow a procedure to take place, but not for life support. And if it were definitely able to be determined, if I were to contract the virus, and have no chance at recovery, I would not want the ventilator wasted on me. THAT IS MY DECISION TO MAKE, not a doctor, and definitely not the government who created the shortage and did nothing to correct it. And if I make that decision, just please make me as comfortable as possible, and allow me to say goodbye to my loved ones.
I am pissed off right now. I am not being political. I am trying not to concentrate on blame. I am doing my best to follow the voices of the experts, and there are only two of them speaking publicly, Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx. Anyone else on that virus committee all have other interests of the virus over the health of individuals. I am doing all that I can to protect myself, and to prevent making anyone else sick, especially since so many still are not. And who can blame them, the leader of the United States, I mean, the leader of the states is not willing to set that example himself. As with any of my other health issues, the last thing I want is to need to go to the hospital, especially right now.