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Experiencing Community in a Covid Surge

Abstract: As I organize a pile of ethics consult chart notes in New York City in mid‐April 2020, I look at the ten cases that I have co‐consulted on recently. Nine of the patients were found to be Covid positive. The reasons for the consults are mostly familiar—surrogate decision‐making, informed refusal of treatment, goals of care, defining futility. But the context is unfamiliar and unsettling. Bioethicists are in pandemic mode, dusting off and revising triage plans. Patients and potential patients are fearful—of the disease itself and of the amplification of health disparities and inequities. There is so much to contemplate, but as I go through my cases, I worry about disability, about biases and racist stereotypes. In this pandemic, historically marginalized communities are at risk of further disenfranchisement.

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The Hastings Center has never shied away from the toughest ethical challenges faced by society.

LET US SHARE OUR EXPERIENCES WITH YOU!

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