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Rationing Care & COVID-19

  • 1.  Rationing Care & COVID-19

    Posted 07-04-2020 21:35
    Posting on behalf of a retired faculty member and former AOM member. Please contact him directly for more information.


    Hi All,  

    My name is Cliff Cheng, PhD. I have been retired from teaching OB for many years. My work was on workplace diversity and discrimination. I became vertically integrated and served in advisory and policy roles for the Calif. Fair Employment and Housing Commission and US EEOC before becoming LA City Human Relations Commissioner. I am coming out of retirement to do 1 last book on a real important topic - on Rationing Care (who gets the last ventilator). As the second wave of COVID-19 infections start, Dr. Anthony Fauci warned if we do not get a hold of these outbreaks soon, it will be like running after the wildfire.  If things go down that path, ventilator shortages are likely. If not the policy is still important for it can be used on other shortages. The COVID-19 rationing care policy developed has a scale. If you are elderly, disabled or have a major pre-existing condition you end up at the bottom of the scale. If you are young, you are placed at the top and get the ventilator. If you are at the bottom, you will surely die. The proponents of the current version of rationing care are proteges of Daniel Callahan.  Callahan whom you will recall in Setting Limits proposed to rein in health care costs by limiting treatment to the elderly. On top of the emergency orders, and authorization to lower the standard of care, and of course arbitration agreements, the health care industry is lobbying for retroactive civil and criminal blanket immunity not just for rationing care but including all the elderly and disabled already died in nursing homes. 

    I am looking for chapter authors. I have been advised that these days I should not approach publishers until we are within 6 months of having a final manuscript. I am not worried about finding a publisher as this is a good topic and has not been addressed in depth. If need be, an interdisciplinary journal would want to publish the manuscript as a special issue. I have edited 1 book and 4 special issues.  

    Part of the problem with rationing care was it was not vetted in public and left to only MDs and medical ethics Profs. They tend to address micro issues. This is an important part of the book, but I want to step back and look at other issues. I have great respect for HCM. Back when I was younger I did a visit to UCLA and taught in the Health Care Exec. MPH, regular MPH and Master of Nursing programs. I also earned a certificate in Public Health Preparedness.  I also was a doctoral student of Ev Rogers. When they talk about flattening the curve, it is Ev who discovered the curve. I am reaching out to the HCM Division to see if our colleagues have any interest in this issue and what unique angles you have?  I am interested in looking for interesting perspectives. Comparative systems is of great interest. How would other countries health care systems handle allocation of limited medical resources during a global pandemic? I am also interested in ethics at the level of the industry as the unit of analysis who without transparency developed these policies and now lobby for immunity. Does anyone study the role of trust in healthcare at the marco and micro levels?  Those are just a few ideas. I am very interested in what people have to say.  

    I am retired and no longer an AoM member, and not reachable via USC.  Please email directly. 

    Stay safe!