Harvard Medical School Professor 'Troubled' By State-Issued Guidelines for Rationing Medical Care During Coronavirus Crisis, Proposes Lottery System Instead
Some medical professionals have expressed concerns about the Massachusetts guidelines for how hospitals should consider rationing care if the coronavirus caseload overwhelms the available stock of ICU beds and ventilators, saying that they will hurt marginalized populations. One local doctor agrees with those critiques and also goes a step further, advocating for a ventilator lottery system across the United States.

Jim Braude joined Dr. Michelle Holmes of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, who also teaches at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, to discuss her proposal.

“I’m troubled by the notion that kind of fancying up the rationing system with points somehow protects and absolves us from our own implicit biases,” said Holmes. “Promoters of this system like to say that it’s fair because it doesn’t have these categorical exclusions. But that’s, I think, naïve, because poor health is a proxy for race, for poverty, for immigration status.”

Coronavirus Isolation Measures May Contribute To Increase In Domestic Violence and Abuse, Says Toni Troop of Jane Doe Inc.
For survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, being quarantined at home — with a sudden loss of support networks — can be dangerous. In a press conference last week, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito addressed this issue, stressing to the public that judges are still available 24 hours a day to process restraining orders and that many advocates are still reachable online and over the phone.

Jim Braude spokeToni Troop, director of communications and development at Jane Doe Inc., on the topic.

“Isolation is not only a tactic that people who cause harm use, but it is, in fact, a major risk factor," Troop said. "We are very concerned that people aren’t able to access their healthcare provider. We’ve heard that some rape victims are not going to the hospital … because they heard the message that they shouldn’t go the hospital unless they’re experiencing COVID symptoms."