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Decision Making in Triage During Covid-19


Nowadays, our modern world is in an unstable situation when difficult and wise decisions must be made in a short period. Solutions considered by European, Asian, and the USA governments and Ministries of Health care are on the verge of the most important world concerns, affecting almost the globe’s entire population.

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Criteria for Survival or Death

People who are not closely related to the healthcare aspect of our lives might also face a problem of a difficult decision. In the example of a Lifeboat Game, the representation of this complicated decision is provided. Deciding whose life is going to be saved is a tough task that others can judge. However, in this case, I would not save those who would not be able to help in an extreme situation with their knowledge and skills. For instance, a criminal is not a reliable type and might not be helpful on the boat. Moreover, I would not give a chance to survive to a housewife with children at home, a Jewish restaurant owner, and an Irish woman studying to be a nursery teacher due to a lack of survival skills. Also, the paralyzed boy would not be taken on the boat to eliminate the extra burden and custody. Lastly, the law-abiding salesman would have low chances of survival because of the uselessness of his entrepreneurial knowledge and inability to help in a dangerous situation.

Even though some of those who would be saved do not have a positive background, they can still apply their knowledge, such as first aid. Healthcare workers daily face the challenge of making the right choices in rescuing citizens, which often leads to numerous losses. Consequently, an unrealistically difficult task is set to doctors worldwide to decide by what criteria the population should be saved correctly. As Caplan states, these days, a raised problem in need of organ transplantation in America is one of the majors in medical practice (as cited in Medscape, 2020). Transplantologists face the problem of making the right choice almost every day. Individuals need to feel equal to others and be sure that they are potential candidates to receive treatment like their relatives, neighbors, or peers. According to Caplan, people’s lives are never saved by personal parameters but only by medical judgments (as cited in Medscape, 2020). Patients of a young age with several chronic diseases are potential lifesavers for reasonably healthy seniors. Therefore, medical indications are the basis for doctors’ correct decisions about who will survive and who will die.

Psychological Side of the Choice

Poorly trained professionals may face inner anxiety while choosing between life and death. As Caplan says, special psychological training is carried out to overcome the fear of making the right decision (as cited in Medscape, 2020). During Covid – the 19 pandemics, some healthcare workers experienced an inability to hold back internal emotions, and many burnouts happened. Infections disease specialists are expected to be professional at curing and present themselves as emotional support for relatives of a seriously ill patient. I would make a decision in a triage situation and choose the one who will take mechanical ventilator treatment by analyzing the health condition of patients and understanding the potential benefit of saving more lives. Covid-19 specialists usually make incredibly complicated decisions when disconnecting patients with low chances to survive from the mechanical ventilation to save the one who has more opportunities to continue life. Making a choice about who will have mechanical ventilation or hospital bed today, I would choose the young population of the world, which builds out future. However, old residents of the world should not be left behind, and the first doses of vaccines could be significant for the group of people older than 50 years old.


Making the right decisions is not an easy part of human existence, especially when it comes to medicine. However, many sacrifices have to be made to save our world, no matter how tragic they are. Life and death are natural processes of the world, and it is hard to reject decisions made about these aspects of our lives.


Medscape. (2020). Who Gets a Ventilator? Rationing Aid in COVID – 19 – An Ethicist’s View [Video]. Web.

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