‘Ethical standards’ put whites at back of line for Covid-19 treatment — Analysis
Minnesota has a public health agency that prioritizes residents of other races in the rationing and distribution of monoclonal antibodies.
Minnesota’s state health department has adopted new ethical standards that include considering a person’s skin color in determining who can receive a potentially life-saving treatment for Covid-19 patients.
The issue at hand is allocating monoclonal antibodies, which are in high demand but in short supply. These antibodies have proved to be very effective in keeping Covid-19-related illnesses from getting severe. The lab-created antibodies help a patient’s immune system fight disease.
Minnesota’s revised “ethical framework”Last week was late in the last week when a petition for medical care rationing was published. “race and ethnicity alone, apart from other underlying health conditions, may be considered in determining eligibility”For monoclonal antibodies therapies (mAbs). A US Food and Drug Administration finding that Covid-19 patients are at higher risk due to their race and/or ethnicity could be cited by the department.
These data provide the following: “ethical justification”According to the framework, priority should be given to non-white patients. The policy doesn’t reflect “moral judgments about the relative social worth of particular groups or arguments about reparations for historical injustices related to race, ethnicity or disability status,”According to the department.
To determine eligibility for mAbs, the state uses a scoring system. Two points are awarded to non-white race status. These categories have the same weighting as patients 65 and older, 55 or older with cardiovascular disease.
If a patient is both white and black and has cardiovascular disease and are over 70, they will receive a screening score equal to four. A black patient would be awarded six points.
These scores can make a difference in which patients receive treatment, depending on the severity of mAbs shortages. State has instructed health care providers not to prioritize patients with lower screening scores, and instead to raise the eligibility threshold. “as scarcity deepens.”