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HEALTHCAREETHICSANDCOVIDWeek1

Law and Ethics in COVID-19 PandemicStudent’s NameInstitutional AffiliationHealth Care Ethics and Covid-19Previous Resource Allocation EthicsDifferent ethical frameworks allocate resources during pandemics (Hübner et al., 2020). These frameworks are useful in guiding the present health situation of COVID-19. However, the application of ethical frameworks should take into consideration the pandemic stage, health care resource type, and context of the health care system.  Should the allocating resources for COVID -19 utilize previous frameworks for control of influenza pandemics is an ethical question that needs clarification? The reason for exploring the application of ethical principles and allocation of resources in COVID-19 is due to the various contextual circumstances and decisions required in resource allocation for different pandemics. For instance, COVID-19 is known to have significant implications on those aged beyond sixty years, an essential characteristic for prioritizing the COVID-19 resource allocation.The legal framework governing resource allocation in COVID-19 includes the obligation of hospitals in the provision of health care to everyone needing their services, which is dependent on illness severity (DePergola, 2020). For instance, the NRW, section two of the hospital design act, stipulates the health care worker’s obligation in the treatment of patients. Additionally, hospitals are also under the obligation to complete treatment on their patients following the obligation contract for monopolistic positions on individual case circumstances. Also, according to section 7 of MBO-A, individual doctors are legally obligated to treat ill individuals during emergencies.Ethics of Random Allocation The ethical and legal considerations for medical countermeasures consisting of personal protective equipment and therapeutics may be different. Therefore exploring the different values and principles that apply for PPE, vaccines, and therapeutics should help in justifying their use in the control of the COVID -19 pandemic (Hübner et al., 2020). For instance, the discovery of an effective and safe vaccine should prioritize its application within populations at the highest risk and health care workers. The ethical question that needs clarification is whether utilization of random allocation is justified with limited medical resources in a given group assuming the recipients receive equal benefits within that group. However, the allocation of resources may be different from the use of ventilators, with some individuals receiving more benefits than others.In circumstances where the needs of patients affected with Covid-19 exceeds that of the available scarce resources, conflict of duty, and emergency is justified (DePergola, 2020). For instance, with the spread of COVID-19 in many countries, the intensive care patient population is likely to exceed the in-patient care at various hospitals. Therefore, in emergencies where medical practitioners sacrifice the life of an individual for the benefit of the other person may lead to the death of one due to withdrawing ventilation. Hence killing a person by omission presents legal implications stipulated in section 212 of the criminal code.Ethics of Decision and Priority Resource AccessThe principles of equality, utility, and risk are useful in deciding individuals that need high priority for the access of limited resources (Hübner et al., 2020). The equality principle states that every individual should receive equal treatment unless there is enough evidence to justify differential resource prioritization. Also, an individual’s characteristics, such as gender, ethnicity, race, should not serve as the foundation for differential resource allocation. The utility principle justifies resource allocation according to the provision of benefits and the ability to cause no harm. The reason for exploring principles of risk, utility, and equality is necessary for understanding population, which requires urgent allocation of scarce resources. For instance, in case of short supply of vaccines and PPE for COVID-19 pandemic, presents an ethical question for health care workers and individuals with severe illness.For the successful treatment of COVID -19 patients, the decisive criteria recommendations include comorbidities, disease severity, and general state of patients (DePergola, 2020). However, in cases where there is a shortage of funds, doctors take into consideration the age, cost-effectiveness, social contribution, and medical criteria. The general, equal treatment implemented by the central ethics committee rules out age differentiation; however, two legal aspects need sufficient explanation. For instance, regulations prohibiting the unequal treatment of individuals on account of disability, race, and ethnicity needs additional clarification as stipulated under section 33c of social code. Also, regulations on unequal treatment due to age require further amendments to cater for equal treatmentReferencesDePergola, P. A. (2020). Ethical Guidelines for the Treatment of Patients with Suspected or Confirmed Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).Hübner, J., Schewe, D. M., Katalinic, A., & Frielitz, F. S. (2020). Legal Issues of Resource Allocation in the COVID-19 Pandemic-Between Utilitarianism and Life Value Indifference.

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