Good Question huh? Have you ever had the misfortune of going to an emergency room on a Friday or Saturday night? The waiting room is packed with bleeding, coughing, drunk, dirty, half-conscious people WAITING for medical care! My sister had her finger just about severed by a hedge-clipper and she had to wait for an HOUR bleeding before being called in for treatment (oh, and FYI the clipper was clamped down on her finger the whole time) and she was well insured!
Now take this scene and inject a bird flu pandemic, bomb, riot or other large SHTF event that will require hundreds or thousands of people requiring medical treatment. If they can’t handle the flow of people during a regular weekend night how do they expect to treat everyone when the SHTF? The answer, THEY CAN’T!!
A news article here is reporting that doctors know some patients needing lifesaving care won’t get it in a flu pandemic or other disaster. They must decide who lives or dies based on their condition and they are recommending that there is a uniform criteria for deciding on who gets care and who is left to die. Hey, at least they are thinking about this, right?
Pray you are not on this list:
- Those older than 85. I can just see people at the hospital now. “And what is your age sir?” … “Uh, I am 79! Yeah, 79. I am sorry but my wallet is in that collapsed building over there. But trust me, I am 79!”
- Those with severe trauma, which could include critical injuries from car crashes and shootings. At least gang bangers and DUI idiots won’t get ahead of my kids!
- Severely burned patients older than 60. Sadly enough this one is based on statistics alone.
- Those with severe mental impairment, which could include advanced Alzheimer’s disease. Good news is they won’t know they are being left for dead. So they got that going for them!
- Those with a severe chronic disease, such as advanced heart failure, lung disease or poorly controlled diabetes. Why expend valuable resources to save a dying patient anyway?
Despite my seemingly insensitive commentary I am very glad that medical personnel are discussing this . When the medical floodgates open up you better be first in line if you need medical treatment. I would be heart broken to see some one with no hope of survival going ahead of one of my little ones not because I am selfish (although I am) but because that would mean that medical personnel are not prioritizing their scarce medical resources and directing them where they can do the most good. It looks like even medical care is going to be rationed!
If the SHTF you better hope you get hit fast and can get to the hospital quickly. Otherwise the backlog is going to render our medical facilities worthless. If the bird flu hits I want to be one of the first guys that gets it. That way I can be on a ventilator and receive proper treatment before the outbreak occurs. Not much chance of that happening though.