Responding to a major pandemic and planning for allocation of scarce resources under crisis standards of care requires coordination and cooperation across federal, state and local governments in tandem with the larger societal infrastructure. Maryland remains one of the few states with no state-endorsed ASR plan, despite having a plan published in 2017 that was informed by public forums across the state. In this article, we review strengths and weaknesses of Maryland’s response to COVID-19 and the role of the Maryland (...) Healthcare Ethics Committee Network in bridging gaps in the state’s response to prepare health care facilities for potential implementation of ASR plans. Identified “lessons learned” include: Deliberative Democracy Provided a Strong Foundation for Maryland’s ASR Framework; Community Consensus is Informative, Not Normative; Hearing Community Voices Has Inherent Value; Lack of Transparency & Political Leadership Gaps Generate a Fragmented Response; Pandemic Politics Requires Diplomacy & Persistence; Strong Leadership is Needed to Avoid Implementing ASR … And to Plan for ASR; An Effective Pandemic Response Requires Coordination and Information-Sharing Beyond the Acute Care Hospital; and The Ability to Correct Course is Crucial: Reconsidering No-visitor Policies. (shrink)
During the Covid‐19 pandemic, as resources dwindled, clinicians, health care institutions, and policymakers have expressed concern about potential legal liability for following crisis standards of care (CSC) plans. Although there is no robust empirical research to demonstrate that liability protections actually influence physician behavior, we argue that limited liability protections for health care professionals who follow established CSC plans may instead be justified by reliance on the principle of reciprocity. Expecting physicians to do something they know will harm their patients (...) causes moral distress and suffering that may leave lasting scars. Limited liability shields are both appropriate and proportionate to the risk physicians are being asked to take in such circumstances. Under certain narrow circumstances, it remains unclear that the standard of care is sufficiently flexible to protect physicians from liability. Given this uncertainty, the likelihood that physicians would be sued for such an act, and their desire for such immunity, this limited protection is morally legitimate. (shrink)
Over twenty years have passed since JLME published “The Girl Who Cried Pain: A Bias Against Women in the Treatment of Pain.” This article revisits the conclusions drawn in that piece and explores what we have learned in the last two decades regarding the experience of men and women who have chronic pain and whether women continue to be treated less aggressively for their pain than men.