The morbid guidance has been issued to doctors by the British Medical Association (BMA). They claim that health care workers need to be prepared to make “grave decisions” on patients wellbeing in the midst of the pandemic.
The document warns that rationing scarce ventilators and oxygen masks could determine whether patients receive treatment.
Hospitals have been forced to take the hard decisions as the pandemic ramps up.
The news comes after 563 patients died in the UK on Wednesday.
A total of 2,352 people have died from coronavirus in the UK.
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According to the BMA’s guidance, doctors will need to be prepared to make difficult judgement calls on patient well-being.
It reads: “Some patients may be denied intensive forms of treatment that they would have received outside a pandemic.
“Health professionals may be obliged to withdraw treatment from some patients to enable treatment of other patients with a higher survival probability.
“This may involve withdrawing treatment from an individual who is stable or even improving but whose objective assessment indicates a worse prognosis than another patient who requires the same resource.”
Dr John Chisholm, chairman of the BMA’s medical ethics committee, said of the controversial guidelines: “Looking ahead to the coming weeks, if hard choices are required, we know they will be contested. There will be anger and pain.
“People who, in normal circumstances, would receive strenuous treatment may instead be given palliation in order to favour those with greater likelihood of benefiting.
“Nobody wants to make these decisions, but if resources are overwhelmed, these decisions must be made.”
The virus has led to government orders that the elderly and those with underlying health conditions must self-isolate for at least 12 weeks.
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The government has faced intense scrutiny for it’s testing policies for NHS staff and the general public.
Latest figures for Monday show 10,400 tests were carried out on the general public and NHS staff.
It was revealed that 7,500 people were actually checked, as some were carried out on the same person twice due to inconclusive results.
It was also revealed 15 percent of the NHS workforce is self-isolating over Covid-19 fears.
Professor Yvonne Doyle, medical director of Public Health England (PHE), told the Number 10 daily press briefing that 10,000 coronavirus tests per day were now being carried out.
The governments aim is to raise the numbers to 25,000 tests by mid-April.
She said the intention was to “get from thousands to hundreds of thousands” of tests for frontline workers in the coming weeks.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is currently self-isolating after testing positive for coronavirus, said: “It’s crucial people who do have the disease are able to be tested positive and to take the necessary steps to isolate at home in the way that I am doing and many many others are doing.”
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