Abstract / DOI
Survival Chances and Mortality Risks in the Corona Pandemic: Misguided Triage Ethics. The corona pandemic has forced us to examine rules for allocating survival chances and mortality risks when ICU beds and ventilators are not sufficient for all patients who need them. In the debate about triage ethics one must distinguish between Ex-ante-Triage and Ex-post-Triage. Ex-ante Triage addresses which of the patients arriving simultaneously in an emergency room should receive an intensive care bed and which one should not. Decisive criteria are the medical criteria of urgency and prognosis. Ex-post-Triage determines whether a patient who has already been connected to a respirator may be removed from the device and given it to a newly admitted patient. The most frequently made mistake in Ex-ante-Triage is discrimination based on the patient's age. Frequent aberrations in Ex-post-Triage are decisions based on the quantification of expected life-spans, as well as an equivalence of Ex-ante- and Ex-post-Triage, which is justified by the equivalence of action and omission, or: the thesis of the inevitability of human culpability.