By Jeff Dunetz
Hey grandpa, we need your bed, and this China Virus is going to kill you anyway, so why not do the honorable thing and sign this do not resuscitate order (DNR). Swiss COVID DNR
A second major wave of COVID-19 sweeping through Switzerland. Cases have risen from 100,000 a few weeks ago to 300,000, with nearly 9,800 new daily infections and the death toll over 4100. Due to the second wave, intensive care units are near to full capacity with coronavirus patients. To make room, the powerful “Swiss Society of Intensive Care Medicine (SGI)” has recommended to Doctors a unique method for freeing up some intensive care beds—get the old people to die.
Doctors are asking people in “vulnerable” groups, people over 60, with diabetes, or lung and heart disease, to sign end-of-life “do not resuscitate” (DNR) orders to ease the crowding in intensive care units.
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“This will support your own relatives, but also the teams in the ICUs, as they make decisions so the treatment can be done in the best possible manner according to the individual patient wishes,” SGI said in a statement.
Speaking to Euronews, former SGI President Professor Thierry Fumeaux said the crowded ICUs may hurt overall care.
“What we call certified beds – visited by certificate commissioners – are all full, but of course we have some in reserve because all hospitals have been able to increase capacity by asking more people from their teams not normally in ICU to work there, but nevertheless the situation is critical.”
“This is not a call for sacrifice. It’s just a call to take responsibility for their autonomy.”
As you might expect, some found the SGI recommendation was disturbing to the people being asked to sign the DNR.
Pro Senectute Schweiz – a Swiss group that lobbies for the interests of older people – said the message from the SGI would usually be sensible advice, but as the world is gripped by a pandemic it only served to create panic where there isn’t an emergency.
“The SGI appeal … takes place in the context of an absolute emergency situation in which Switzerland does not yet find itself,” the group said.
With a doctor making the request, patients are more likely to agree to the DNI order. But dear readers, if you happen to see NY’s governor Andrew Cuomo, PLEASE don’t tell him what’s going on in Switzerland. Cuomo, who is already responsible for too many senior citizen deaths, may get some ideas from the Swiss.