Meanwhile, some doctors say a draft “emergency standard of care” distributed to hospitals last month but not publicly released —
does not go far enough. They say it lacks a grim but necessary provision: The power to unplug patients who are unlikely to survive from life support without consent to make room for those with a better chance.
Not allowing this kind of triage, some doctors argue, could create a kind of first-come, first-served system, in which patients who might have lived are denied access to scarce ICU beds because others who have little hope already occupy them. More people, they say, would end up dying.