The state’s Web site that outlines the ethical considerations of a pandemic flu has now gone live.
The report, called For the Good of Us All: Ethically Rationing Health Resources in Minnesota in a Severe Influenza Pandemic, is available here.
Among the items in it: Thirty percent of Minnesotans will get the flu during the pandemic. Minnesota will have enough antivirals to treat 21 percent of Minnesotans. It the duration or dosage is doubled, it’ll be 10 percent. The state has stockpiled 2.4 million respirators. The notion of age-based rationing as the most controversial for the panel that devised the framework. 172,000 people will be hospitalized. The pandemic will last two years. Morgues and mortuary services will be overwhelmed. The U.S. GDP will drop by around 5 percent. The first goal is to make sure that no group suffers more deaths than another. The panel rejected social value (race, gender, education, religion or citizenship),quality of life, duration of benefit (with the exception of persons who are imminently and irreversibly dying) and first-come, first-served as methods for rationing health care. Suggested considerations for who gets resources in the event of rationing are: exposure to one of the earliest cases of influenza or to a contained outbreak;risk of exposure; risk of influenza-related mortality and serious morbidity; key role in supporting basic health care, public health, public safety or other critical functions; risk of transmitting influenza to persons at high risk of flu-related mortality; and possibly age.
About the blogger
Bob Collins has been with Minnesota Public Radio since 1992, emigrating to Minnesota from Massachusetts where he was vice president of programming for Berkshire Broadcasting Company. Previously, he was an editor at the RKO Radio network in New York, and WHDH Radio in Boston. He is the founder of the MPR News’ website.