Should the Vaccinated get Priority in Hospitals?

Caring for critical and non critical patients without regard to their COVID-19 status
Public Domain image – Caring for critical and non-critical patients without regard to their COVID-19 status

Now here is an interesting question to mull over. What happens when those that refuse the vaccine end up swamping hospitals and filling them up?

People have been pleading with them to get the vaccine. It has been explained and demonstrated that it will prevent them from becoming seriously ill. Ignoring common sense, many have foolishly decided that some whacky nutter on Facebook or some fringe pastor foaming at the mouth as he yells nonsense, has the truth. They label Fauchi a Nazi and declare all guidance from certified health professionals to be part of a grand conspiracy to slaughter them.

When the inevitable then happens, and they all pour into hospitals filling them up, who then gets priority as resources are maxed out and run dry?

Others are also there. The lady who needs an operation to tackle her aggressive cancer, the guy who just had a car accident and needs long-term care to recover, along with many others. Should we then listen to the unvaccinated as they plead for help, or do we shove them to the back of the queue and tell them, “Sorry this is wholly your own doing, you chose this, these other people get priority over you“.

This is not an abstract scenario, but rather is choice that we are heading into.

Bloomberg (Dec 15): Unvaccinated Covid Patients Push Hospital Systems Past the Brink

Here are a few rather apt quotes from an article published recently in Bloomberg (Link in the heading above).

Their stance might be, “it’s my body and my choice”. The problem with this claim is that it is a choice that impacts all of us …

a Bloomberg analysis of vaccine, infection and hospitalization data for the state, combined with interviews of more than 20 doctors, nurses and medical staff, show how low vaccination rates strain entire communities and health-care systems.

…an ER doctor wrote an opinion piece in the New York Times, warning that some facilities were close to being unable to provide care….

…There are consequences to a health system locked up by Covid patients. There were still strokes, heart attacks and accidents coming in. (Two weeks after these interviews, a tornado struck the other side of the state, killing more than 70 people.) But hospital beds around the state were full, and transfers to other hospitals were nearly impossible…

….“We looked at each other and we said, the next person who shows up, we’re just going to have to let them pass away. We have nothing left. Five people died that day and that’s what saved us,” he said….

…her ICU was full of unvaccinated Covid patients, from all over the state…

Once you max out resources, you then need to make the hard calls, literally who lives and who dies.

Remember, this is wholly self-inflicted. It need not have been like this, but because people are refusing the one thing that could save them and all of us, such hard choices arise.

The Malignant Minority – What now?

David Frum, an Author, and political speechwriter, posted on Twitter this suggestion …

You want to fulminate against the dumb-ass malignity of the anti-vaxxers and their (quietly personally vaxxed) media and political enablers? Go ahead, I do it myself almost every day right here in this space. 3/x

But the malignant minority is not yielding to reason any time soon. And even such seemingly basic mandates as “no jab, no fly” seem beyond the enforcement capability of the US federal government. So what now? 4/x

Seems the best option is

1) Keep encouraging vaccines and boosters;

2) Impose vaccine mandates where it can be done;

3) Otherwise return to normal as fully as we can, especially the schools; and

4) Let hospitals quietly triage emergency care to serve the unvaccinated last

Will this really happen, could the unvaccinated go to the back of the queue?

Short answer – no.

Slightly longer answer – seriously just no.

Some might indeed deeply desire to see this. Such a thought comes frothing up out of the raw unadulterated frustration that is driven by the incarnated stupidity-on-steroids that now runs rampent. Putting the unvaccinated to the back of the queue never would happen, medical ethics 101 kicks in.

When resources are limited, what happens, how are such decisions made?

This is not a new unique scenario. Think organ transplants. Rather obviously demand exceeds the ability to meet that need, so very hard choices need to be made.

Medical professionals are already well primed to make such hard calls.

When faced with person A and Person B who both need an intervention to survive, but you only have resources for one, a single ventilator for example, then how do you decide?

In simple terms, whoever is most likely to be treated successfully gets priority.

You start with a level playing field – personal details and circumstances generally play no role. No judgment and no politics. Your accident victim might have been drunk and so caused the accident. That’s not considered. Being a professional in the medical arena means no blame, just treatment.

Please don’t think of it as easy. It’s not, but instead is complicated, challenging, deeply emotional, and stressful.

If you would like to read a bit more on this, check out a posting by Steve Novella, MD, titled “Treating the Unvaccinated“. There he writes …

It’s easy to get sucked into blaming the unvaccinated for the pandemic’s continuing harm. The solution, however, is not to use triage of medical care as a solution or a punishment. That is not the role of the medical profession, which is primarily to care for all patients without judgement. Rather, the pandemic is all the more reason that we need to find other solutions to the problem of vaccine hesitancy. Education is the preferred method, but if that is not enough then applying a variety of carrots and sticks may be justified. But we can’t withhold medical care.

What might happen?

Insurance companies might end up being the heroes that save us from the Malignant Minority. Some of the companies may seriously consider refusing coverage to anybody who actively refuses the vaccine, so they get a choice between being vaccinated or having huge bills.

It if happened, then it is not because the insurance companies are being socially altruistic, or political, but simply to keep costs down and protect themselves.

The almighty corporate dollar reigns supreme, so I strongly suspect this may be inevitable.

What is Clear so far

Politically it appears to have been decided that the constant stream of gun deaths is an acceptable price to pay for unfettered access to guns. Taking a leaf from that book, some appear to have decided that a million or more people dying is an acceptable price to pay for the right to not be vaccinated, not wear masks, and not to endure vaccine mandates.

I suspect those that died might wish to raise an objection, but hey, they are dead, so they can’t.

What Are your thoughts?

If you had to make such a decision …

  • Do you feel you would be able to make that choice?
  • What factors would you consider?

What should we do about the unvaccinated, what would you like to see happen to get us to an end-game for it all?

1 thought on “Should the Vaccinated get Priority in Hospitals?”

  1. *** What Are your thoughts?

    If you had to make such a decision …

    Do you feel you would be able to make that choice?
    What factors would you consider?

    What should we do about the unvaccinated, what would you like to see happen to get us to an end-game for it all? ***

    I’m not qualified to make such decisions, so “NO”, I couldn’t personally make the choices. I’ve neither the skills nor the necessary information.

    First pass, admit qualified patients, First Come, First Served. If things reach an overflow and folks must be denied, I’d allow the doctors on the spot to make each call. No Written Policy, and No Paper Trails.

    The “unvaccinated” issue is likely larger than the current crisis. These people have taken a stand, and all too many have closed their minds to reason. Those who survive the current Pandemic are going to be sitting ducks for the next one. I’m advising those I know to try to avoid being dragged down in the sinking vortex of their deaths. Until there is a perfect vaccine – or a complete cure – I won’t be attending events with unsafe conditions. That’ll include Family Reunions. Stadium/Arena sports. Dining Out – Indoors. No trips on the airplanes.

    Most Americans don’t have very good Medical Insurance, so I can’t see Big Insurance as saviors. Only if and when their payouts truly soar will they become a factor, IMO. Ditto for their liability for Mass Shootings. Until juries start making life expensively uncomfortable for the insurers, I can’t see them as doing anything relevant with that issue, either.

    In the mean time, adapt to the new lifestyle. Go shopping less often, and be fully armored when those trips must happen. We can’t change the attitudes of the new fanatics, so we must strive to protect ourselves.


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