Article: Would It Be Fair to Treat Vaccinated Covid Patients First?

I saw this article (below) and thought it was interesting.

I think this can be a tough one:

Behind a paywall, unfortunately.

I’m the hardest pro-vaxxer anywhere but I think patients should be treated by severity. It makes no sense to treat a light-symptom vaxxed patient over a near-death unvaxxed. If that means unvaxxed first, unfortunately, but presumably they’re remorseful by then. The $70,000 bill they’ll get will be more than enough punishment anyway.

I’ve got an opinion.

Medical care shouldn’t depend on how stupid or foolish you are,
nor on your color, citizenship, education level or employment,
nor on how wealthy you are or who your friends are.

So, exactly the kind of discussion I would expect to see coming out of Texas.

Worked for me - can you clear your cookies?

Absolutely it’s best to treat the serious cases among the vaccinated before the less serious cases among the vaccinated. Similarly the most serious cases among the unvaccinated should be treated before the least serious among the unvaccinated. That’s just commonsense triage.

But in NO case should even the most deathly ill among the willfully
unvaccinated be treated before even the mildest cases among the vaccinated.

There is no more time for fucking around with normal niceties. Those days are past.

We are in a time of brutally harsh wartime-like decisions and they are going to suck for many people. But those people still have a chance to avoid the suckitude and if they don’t… well they had the Freedom to choose…

Didn’t work. I still get a notification to subscribe or sign in.

To get technical, though, how would they prove vaccination? A vaxxed patient might not have their card with them, and an unvaxxed patient could lie.

This is a hard one. There are competing interests here. There’s the need for justice, where those who are at fault reap the consequences of their actions, so they can learn from them (or others learn by their example). But there is also the pure harm mitigation issue, wanting to stop this disease from causing harm. The former would say to prioritize nuwethe vaccinated, while the latter would say we try to keep alive as many as possible, regardless of fault.

I would bring up here wbwr treat murderers. They get treated like anyone else. However, they also receive their punishment afterward. But our society seems unwilling to punish those who choose to kill in this case.

Some might argue that getting I’ll is punishment enough. But given that many still ignore the issue after that, I’m not sure that is the case. And, even if they learn on this case, will it change the selfishness that led them to not get vaccinated in the first place? Will they choose the small inconvenience to save others next time?

Ultimately, the best I can offer is a compromise. Treat based on severity. But, if two people are roughly equally severe, save the vvaccinated person. They’re more likely to be the type who care about others, giving them slightly more value. They have, on average, the greater potential to save others from harm.

That said, this is talking at arm’s length. Make it my vaccinated loved one who is dying, and I’ll want them to go first.

True, but I think a system could be devised. I’m not even sure I could stomach watching sick anti-vaxxers being left to die. I don’t like that. But I fear that some ugly decisions may have to be made soon, and if so… sorry, the anti-vaxxers get the short end of the straw.

Triage is about maximizing survivability. Full stop. The article says there’s no current evidence that seriously ill vaccinated patients have better outcomes than unvaccinated patients. If the data changes, fine.

Injecting any kind of partisan arithmetic sets a horrifying precedent. What other bad decisions might we use to deny care in favor of someone more deserving? Political or religious affiliation perhaps?

Nope. Keep it to science and data and established procedures, and God help the poor souls who have to make those decisions.

And shame unto seven generations on the unvaccinated causing this fucking mess.

I don’t think “fair” has anything to do with it. But it would be ultimately counterproductive to treat people based on their vaccination status rather than their immediate medical need.

If you want “fair”, maybe the place for that is in the insurance coverage. As an idea OTTOMH: those who are able to be vaccinated but have not been should be liable for a much higher percentage of COVID-related medical costs. Still a messy proposal but one that doesn’t require doctors to actively let people die.

One could argue that treating the less-serious vaccinated cases before the more-serious unvaccinated cases does minimize the harm, because the biggest way to prevent harm is to vaccinate everyone, and this incentivizes that.

One could also argue that it’s a medical consent issue. The absolute most effective treatment is the preemptive one. If someone has chosen to forgo effective treatment, should we force less-effective treatment on them?

The unvaccinated are creating renewed threat even to the vaccinated. Apparently vaccinated people are susceptible to the Delta variant, albeit to a much lesser extent.
However to treat the unvaccinated different could open a whole new can of worms. Many of society’s obstacles are in place due to the number of stupid people that just don’t get it. So where would it end? Take note of all the signage out in the world that inform us of the correct way to do things & behave. Our landscape wouldn’t require defacing with all the signs if not for idiots. Most of these things are common sense, or at minimum a no-brainer for someone with 2 cents worth of intelligence.
And if we’re going to stop treating the unvaccinated, we should also stop treating smokers. A careless/dangerous driver; you know, the one’s we’ve all seen weaving in & out on the highway on their way to kill someone. Maybe in a more rational world we would all pass on by with our middle finger raised when we see this persons car sitting on it’s roof in a ditch. It’s an endless list. Until we find the stupidity gene, we’re stuck with it.
What do you think the chances would be of someone reading this (or other) threads, recognizing themselves and changing their ways? I’d say on the under side of zero.
On a personal level however, I’ve no problem with them dying.

Here, the Department of Health and Human Services has my vaccination status back to when I was born, as long as a vaccination happened in this state. I’ve gotten some when I’ve lived elsewhere and they aren’t recorded with them.

Another example of a less than United States of America

Wuh?

Dan

I think the issue is when a hospital has run out of ICU beds how do they decide who gets the next one that becomes available?

Do we treat first the broken leg of the victim of a drunken driver or the drunken driver himself with life-threatening injuries. Triage is triage.
Should you treat first the tax-paying citizen or the just-jumped-the-border-fence guy who got injured severely by jumping the fence? Once you open the door to that, even with the best of intentions, you open it to tragic consequences.

There is also the issue of knowing if the person is vaccinated or not. Out of state? Maybe a foreigner who got the vaccine? If it’s a real emergency, there’s not time for that and no way you’re going to kick a person already in the ICU when you discover that they were not vaccinated.

I think another issue here, in addition to triage between covid patients, is the impact of the unvaccinated upon non-covid patients. For example, in a jurisdiction in which hospitals are so full of covid patients (mostly unvaccinated) that cancer screenings or treatment has to be delayed, or car crash victims can’t be treated in a timely fashion.

My gut feel, which isn’t necessarily right, is to go for it in terms of prioritizing based on vaccination status but, yes, there is a huge can of worms.

One way in which a “vaccinated treated first” policy would be a benefit is that it would (in theory) serve as a huge motivating boost to people to get vaccinated.

In practice, though, I’m sure most anti-vaxxers would still scoff and pooh-pooh it.

But we also need to distinguish minors from adults. Some anti-vaxx parents insist that their kids not get vaccinated. If that is the case, then an unvaxxed minor who is ill should not be penalized for his/her parents’ failings.