'Hospitals need to prepare for life-and-death decisions during the coronavirus pandemic'

Sociology professor’s opinion piece in Boston Globe

Susan Sered makes the case for immediate ethics discussions

Health care workers in Italy have been forced to make life-or-death decisions about who will receive treatment when their facilities ae overwhelmed with Covid-19 patients, and Sociology Professor Susan Sered, in a Boston Globe opinion piece, warns that the United States is ill prepared to address such a dilemma.

Sered argues that the nation must “come together as communities and within health care institutions to craft clear, equitable, and transparent policies for rationing health care services….

“Here in the United States, ‘rationing’ of health care tends to be seen as a dirty word, yet we ration care too: Those who can pay for it are prioritized. Those who cannot often struggle to access care and, as a whole, have worse health outcomes and higher mortality rates,” she writes.

Sered notes that not all U.S. hospitals and health care facilities have convened ethics review boards in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read Susan Sered’s opinion piece on the preparing for possible health rationing


Greg Gatlin
Office of Public Affairs