Israeli Position Paper: Triage Decisions for Severely Ill Patients During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Joint Commission of the Israel National Bioethics Council, the Ethics Bureau of the Israel Medical Association and Representatives from the Israeli Ministry of Health
Avraham Steinberg, Ephrat Levy-Lahad, Tami Karni, Noam Zohar, Gil Siegal, Charles L. Sprung, and the Israel National Bioethics Council, the Ethics Bureau of the Israel Medical Association, and Representatives from the Israeli Ministry of HealthAbstract
Objectives: This document provides an English translation of the Israeli Joint Commission’s national guidelines for triaging severely ill patients during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Methods: Four subcommittees of medical, legal, ethical-social, and religious experts developed the general principles and practical medical criteria for triaging scarce life-saving resources. Results: The guidelines provide an overview of general principles as well as pragmatic medical criteria and a practical triage protocol to be followed should the healthcare system be overwhelmed due to COVID-19. Issues covered include triggers for activating the guidelines, guiding ethical, legal, and religious principles, equity in access, fair distribution, transparency, consistency, palliation, medical policy prioritization, problem-solving mechanisms, and public trust. Conclusions: The Israeli consensus document and pragmatic medical triage protocol offer a societal and medical roadmap for allocating scarce resources during the COVID-19 pandemic or other disasters.
Rambam Maimonides Med J 2020;11(3):e0019