As the world progresses into the twenty-first century, one aspect of health care disaster planning requires urgent attention. Not only does each year bring killer tornadoes, hurricanes, blizzards, floods, wildfires, the threat of spreading disease continues to loom. Health care practitioners are on the front lines during any disaster, and the logistical and ethical concerns associated with caring for populations during these events fall heavily on their shoulders. If all assigned health care practitioners can’t report for duty, who will take charge? Should triage (an assessment of which of the injured should receive treatment first) proceed as in normal times, and who will be responsible for deciding? Will nurses be expected to perform as surgeons, technicians as pharmacists, or aids as nurses?
- In your opinion, would it be ethical, in case of a disaster, for triage personnel to recommend treating only those injured individuals who could recover? Defend your answer
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