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And, yes, I DO take it personally: New rules for major disasters in California pretty much spell out who lives and who dies
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Tuesday, March 04, 2008

New rules for major disasters in California pretty much spell out who lives and who dies

here's something to add a cold chill to your day...
[W]hen and if a global pandemic or major disaster strikes, no amount of extra drugs or supplies will be sufficient to manage the impact on an already strained health care system.

That's why the state assembled public health professionals, hospitals, ethicists, nurses and others to hash out guidelines for procedures they hope will minimize red tape and maximize survival rates.

The plan lists, for example, which responsibilities and patient protections can be waived if the governor declares a state of emergency.

Hospitals will not have to report births, deaths, infectious disease outbreaks, medication errors, and suspected child or elder abuse. Existing rules that protect patients' privacy also can be tossed out.


The guidelines say California's strict nurse-patient ratios can be ignored, and nurses can be assigned to jobs for which they have no experience.


During a health care surge, even nonlicensed, or retired health care providers whose licenses have lapsed, will be recruited to provide emergency care.


A hospital janitor, for example, could get an emergency credential to stitch up wounds or start intravenous lines if that janitor had experience as a military medic.

[A] volunteer veterinarian could be asked to mend broken bones, stanch bleeding or jump-start a patient's heart.


It also means that a pharmacist will be able to dole out drugs even without a doctor's prescription.


The plan will allow hospitals to empty beds for higher priority patients, sending ill patients into hallways, make-shift hospitals in tents, nursing homes or even back home.


[I]nstead of starting with the sickest or most critically injured, treatment will go first to those more likely to survive with immediate intervention.

now, this is what they SAY about ability to pay...
The plan emphasizes that treatment decisions must not be based on a patient's ability to pay for care, their perceived worth to society, or whether their past behaviors contributed to their health status.

you can be sure that many of the wealthy elites who have ALREADY set up their own private lifelines for fire protection, health care, security, food, and emergency transportation, won't find this in the least bit disturbing...

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