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Who Should Receive Life Support During a Public Health Emergency? Using Ethical Principles to Improve Allocation Decisions

White, D.B., Katz, M.H., Luce, J.M., and Lo, B. (2009). Who Should Receive Life Support During a Public Health Emergency? Using Ethical Principles to Improve Allocation Decisions. Annals of Internal Medicine. 150:132-138.

The authors explore key ethical principles that may be invoked in the context of having to make scarce resource allocation decisions. They highlight strategies related to saving the most lives, maximizing the number of life years saved, and prioritizing patients who have had the least chance to live through life's stages. They emphasize the importance of applying such principles to all patients, not just to those at the extreme ages of the life cycle (very young, elderly) or those with functional impairments or chronic conditions.
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