Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Who should be saved? Study gets diverse MD views on healthcare disaster planning

Date:
May 14, 2014
Source:
Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics
Summary:
Few disaster preparedness plans have taken community values regarding allocation into account, but a new study is aiming to change that through public engagement with diverse groups. Citizens ranked most and least healthy in one state share their thoughts on how ventilators should be allocated in the event of a flu pandemic.

In the event of a flu pandemic, who should have priority access to life-saving ventilators, and who should make that determination? Few disaster preparedness plans have taken community values regarding allocation into account, but a new study is aiming to change that through public engagement with Maryland residents.

"In the event of a healthcare crisis, understanding the community perspective and having citizen buy-in will be critical to avoid compounding the initial disaster with further social upheaval," says principal investigator Elizabeth L. Daugherty Biddison, MD, MPH, Vice Chair for Clinical Operations in the Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

"When life-saving medical resources become scarce, there are no ideal options, even among ethically-permissible ones. Understanding community perspectives and values will help policy-makers craft guidelines for those difficult choices," Biddison says.

To gain this perspective, Biddison and colleagues from the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics, Carnegie Mellon University and University of Pittsburgh Medical Center are exploring the use of "deliberative democratic methods" typically employed to understand how the public views potential policy changes. A pilot study consisted of two community meetings; one in affluent Howard County, which ranks top among the state's county health rankings, and the other in a neighborhood near Johns Hopkins Hospital in inner Baltimore City, which ranks last. The results were published online ahead of print in April in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society.

"We found that participants' ethical perspectives were framed in large part by their place-based life experiences," says Ruth R. Faden, PhD, MPH, Director of the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics, a member of the study team. "Our results thus far underscore the importance of broad and diverse community input, to capture more fully the issues that matter to people of various backgrounds."

The community meetings followed the same procedures used to gather information on views related to controversial policy issues including marriage equality, regional tax sharing, and economic redevelopment. According to the study results, the Baltimore City group spent significant time discussing whether particular groups should be disqualified from access to ventilators, such as convicted felons and undocumented immigrants. The study authors connect these concerns directly to crime-rate and demographic trends in the area.

Members of the Howard County community group were recruited by a private-public partnership focused on strengthening local resilience to disasters, and focused on logistical concerns. According to the study, "County residents struggled with the implementation timeframe required by different approaches: would someone die without a ventilator while decision-makers were still making up their minds? County residents also expressed greater concern about the potential for bias in decision making."

Regarding the differences in focus between the two groups, the study states, "[T]he differences reflected distinct ways of thinking about the issues. This finding underscores the importance of achieving a diverse, regionally varied sample of Marylanders" for the project's planned expansion across the state. With such diverse feedback from citizens, "health authorities and elected officials will be better prepared both to shape and to communicate the content of Maryland's future framework in meaningful ways," the study concludes.

Biddison says that the state-wide expansion of the study will include at least 10 forums, five for general community members and five for healthcare professionals. The results will be shared with Maryland health officials for practical application to the state's policy on healthcare resource allocation in the event of a disaster.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Elizabeth L Daugherty Biddison, Howard Gwon, Monica Schoch-Spana, Robert Cavalier, Douglas B White, Timothy Dawson, Peter B Terry, Alex John London, Alan Regenberg, Ruth Faden, Eric S Toner. The Community Speaks: Understanding Ethical Values in Allocation of Scarce Lifesaving Resources during Disasters. Annals of the American Thoracic Society, 2014; 140424123528004 DOI: 10.1513/AnnalsATS.201310-379OC

Cite This Page:

Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics. "Who should be saved? Study gets diverse MD views on healthcare disaster planning." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 May 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140514132943.htm>.
Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics. (2014, May 14). Who should be saved? Study gets diverse MD views on healthcare disaster planning. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140514132943.htm
Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics. "Who should be saved? Study gets diverse MD views on healthcare disaster planning." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140514132943.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

AP (July 22, 2014) Two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings Tuesday on the legality of the federally-run healthcare exchange that operates in 36 states. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Newsy (July 22, 2014) Boston scientists have discovered a new way to create fully functioning human platelets using a bioreactor and human stem cells. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins