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Allocation of scarce resources during the COVID-19 pandemic: a Jewish ethical perspective
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  • Published on:
    Ethical challenges in Scarce Resources Allocation in COVID-19 pandemic: Western and Islamic views
    • Hassan Chamsi-Pasha, Consultant Cardiologist King Fahd Armed Forces Hospital, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
    • Other Contributors:
      • Majed Chamsi-Pasha, Senior Registrar, Internal Medicine
      • Mohammed .A. Albar, Director of Medical Ethics Center, Department of Medical Ethics

    We read with great interest the article of Solnica et al entitled “Allocation of scarce resources during the COVID-19 pandemic: a Jewish ethical perspective”. (1)
    The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic raises unique ethical dilemmas. The implications of scarce resources allocation are devastating. Physicians must deal with decisions about the allocation of scarce resources which may eventually cause severe moral distress. (2)
    During the process of allocating resources, physicians are prioritizing those most likely to survive over those with remote chances of survival. The news that prioritization criteria were being applied in Italian hospitals in relation to the current outbreak sparked widespread controversy, aroused great resentment, and triggered an intense debate, at both public and institutional levels, about the right of every individual to access healthcare. (3)
    Since equals should be treated equally, it is unequal to treat unequals equally. Although there is a right for everyone to be treated, it is not feasible to ignore contingent medical and biological characteristics that, inevitably, make one patient different from the other. Prioritization does not mean that one life is more valuable than another, as all lives are equally valuable. But when resources are not enough to save all those in need, prioritization involves allocating resources such that they are more likely to save the most lives. (3,4)
    Priority for limited resource...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.