Los Angeles Times

Michael Hiltzik: Arizona's rules for rationing healthcare in the COVID-19 pandemic should terrify you

You may think that the coronavirus and COVID-19, the disease it causes, are frightening enough. But Arizona has just activated a rulebook for rationing hospital care that is truly terrifying.

In brief, the rules allow hospitals to deny critical healthcare resources such as ventilators to patients based on medical judgments about their likelihood of living even five more years despite surviving COVID-19.

In practical terms, that means that on average, older adults are more likely to be denied care than younger persons. Those with medical conditions other than COVID-19 would be more vulnerable to denials than those judged to be healthier, whatever their age.

Under the rules, doctors making triage judgments that deprive patients of necessary care will be immune from legal liability.

Arizona's so-called crisis standards of care, or CSC, isn't unique among the states. But

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