Politico: Italian Doctors Forced To Make Decisions On Whom To Treat

Politico reports doctors in Italy are being told to use scarce resources to treat younger coronavirus patients who have a greater chance for survival.
Posted at 9:08 AM, Mar 11, 2020

Doctors in Italy say they're having to make tough calls on which coronavirus patients to treat as the case numbers continue to climb.

Politico reports that doctors in the Lombardy region, where the virus has hit the hardest, are being advised to save scarce resources for the patients who have the greatest chance of survival. As a result, younger patients are being prioritized over older patients. 

An anesthesiologist from a hospital in Bergamo said: "The choice is made inside of an emergency room used for mass events, where only COVID-19 patients enter. If a person is between 80 and 95 and has severe respiratory failure, he probably won’t make it."

To make matters worse, a growing number of health officials in Italy are testing positive for the virus, placing the country's already overwhelmed health system under additional strain.

Italy is currently under a nationwide lockdown as part of a government effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus.