Valuing Lives: Allocating Scarce Medical Resources During a Public Health Emergency and the Americans with Disabilities Act
PLoS Currents Disasters, September 2011
6 Pages Posted: 3 Apr 2012 Last revised: 5 Apr 2012
Date Written: 2011
Public health emergencies from natural disasters, infection, and man-made threats can present ethically or legally challenging questions about who will receive scarce resources. Federal and state governments have offered little guidance on how to prioritize distribution of limited resources. Several allocation proposals have appeared in the medical literature, but components of the proposed approaches violate federal antidiscrimination laws and ethical principles about fair treatment. Further planning efforts are needed to develop practical allocation guidelines that comport with antidiscrimination laws and the moral commitment to equal access reflected in those laws.
Keywords: disasters, infection, public health, ADA, disability law, disabilities, discrimination, equal access, health law
JEL Classification: H51, K19, K32, K39, I12, I18, I19
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation