The COVID-19 Coronavirus has been challenging. One challenge has been determining how scarce medical resources are allocated among patients, particularly when the patients outnumber the available resources. The process of determining how different medical situations are prioritized, and then applying care and resources to people in those situations, is known as triage. The goal of triage is to save human lives to the greatest extent possible.
With COVID-19, the most pertinent question is this: if there is a shortage of ventilators in a hospital, what criteria should determine who gets a ventilator first? Ideally, there would be no shortages, but that is unfortunately not the case. Due to the intrinsic dignity of the human person, all people must be treated with equal respect in every situation, including difficult ones. A crisis is not an excuse for violating the dignity of a single human person made in God’s image and likeness (Gen. 1:26), particularly the most vulnerable, such as the handicapped and elderly.
For Immediate Release: CMF Applauds HHS’s Civil Rights and Religious Freedom Bulletin and Urges Rejection of Utilitarian Approach to Rationing Health Care during the COVID-19 Pandemic
The Christ Medicus Foundation praises the Bulletin of the United States Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) entitled Civil Rights, HIPAA, and the Coronavirus Disease 2019. The HHS Bulletin reminds healthcare institutions and all healthcare professionals that discrimination in access to healthcare services, whether based on disability, age, or any other protected status, violates federal civil rights laws. HHS is right to vigorously enforce Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, among other federal civil rights laws.“The natural moral law and federal civil rights laws must guide the provision of medical care, inclusive of triage protocols,” said Jordan Buzza, J.D., Director of the Christ Medicus Foundation’s health care ministry CMF CURO.
Over the past several months, the virus causing COVID-19 disease has been spreading silently throughout the world, infecting hundreds of thousands of people. COVID-19 already has killed over eighteen thousand people worldwide, and it threatens to hospitalize and kill countless more as well as to overwhelm systems of health care delivery. As the pandemic spreads in breadth and depth, people are beginning to call for programs of triage and rationing of health care. How should Catholic health care professionals and administrators address these issues?
“Contraception is not for women, it’s for men,” Fr Giertych told The Catholic Weekly, newspaper of the Sydney Archdiocese. “It makes men egoists. It makes many of them degenerates and we’re seeing the consequences of that.”
The leader of a Vatican study commission on Pope Paul VI’s encyclical Humanae Vitae has said that contraception is “intrinsically wrong”.
Humanae Vitae’s 50th anniversary falls next week, on July 25. Although the Vatican has not yet announced plans to mark the anniversary, it has allowed a study group to access the Vatican archives.
Mgr Gilfredo Marengo, the co-ordinator of the commission, discussed some of his findings in May in a talk at the Maryvale Institute in Birmingham.