Peter Singer: Deny Unvaccinated ICU Care Versus Vaccinated | National Review

Peter Singer: Deny Unvaccinated ICU Care Versus Vaccinated | National Review


Medical staff treat a COVID-19 patient in the ICU at Western Reserve Hospital in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, January 5, 2022.
(Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)

Princeton’s “infanticide bioethicist” Peter Singer — a favorite of the elite and a crass utilitarian, is at it again. He is advocating punishing the unvaccinated when it comes to triaging life-saving treatment by forcing them to get in line for ICU beds behind the vaccinated. From “Victims of the Unvaccinated“:

Hospitals that are at or near capacity should warn the populations they serve that, after a certain date — far enough in the future to allow ample time for people to get fully vaccinated — they will give vaccinated patients priority over unvaccinated patients with COVID-19.

After the announced date, when both a vaccinated and an unvaccinated patient with COVID-19 need the last available bed in the intensive care unit, the vaccinated patient should get it. If the last ICU bed is given to an unvaccinated patient because at the time there was no one else who needed it, and a vaccinated patient with a greater or equal need for the facility then arrives, the bed should be reallocated to the vaccinated patient.

Absolutely not! Triage is an ethical form of rationing when there aren’t enough medical resources to care for everyone. For example, in a battlefield or mass-accident situation.

Triage is a medical determination, not an ideological one, that prioritizes access to needed care. It treats all patients as equals and bases hard decisions on the same objective criteria of assessing survivability regardless of the personal characteristics of each person. It isn’t supposed to be a tool for discrimination in any regard.

Singer would turn the concept it into a moral cudgel that punishes people for refusing to be vaccinated. Not only would this be immoral — because it could prioritize a vaccinated person with a lower chance of survival than an unvaccinated patient with a higher chance — but would set a precedent for punishing people in the medical context based on moral disapproval of the patient’s lifestyle choices or health-care decisions.

Such an approach could, for example, be applied against smokers. If there are two patients needing one ICU bed, give it to the non smoker. Or the obese. (These have actually been proposed.) Or, for that matter, “equity” discrimination against people who are not of color as New York is doing unconstitutionally with COVID therapeutics.

It could even be imposed against people with HIV who failed to take the prophylactics that can prevent infection. Would Singer approve of that? Of course not — I wouldn’t either — because such invidious discrimination has no place in the practice of medicine.

The bullying around vaccines is getting out of hand. But then, Singer is fully vaccinated, needless to say. So, the cynic in me wonders whether he’s really saying, “Put me first.”





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About the Author

Tony Beasley
Tony Beasley writes for the Local News, US and the World Section of ANH.