As the COVID-19 pandemic threatens to stretch our health systems close to their breaking point in many states, medical professionals are increasingly at risk of being forced to choose who lives and who dies. Although this crisis poses an unprecedented challenge to our health care system’s response, as Americans, we can never rationalize depriving the elderly, disabled or countless other vulnerable groups from lifesaving treatment. All humans, regardless of age or ability, are deserving of dignity.
It is our mission and privilege to promote and defend innocent life from fertilization until natural death. With PPEs in short supply, and hard conversations already being had in other states surrounding rationing of care, it is imperative that we are vigilant in ensuring that the most vulnerable in our state aren’t left behind. Ohio must be prepared for what comes next.
Yesterday, Ohio Right to Life sent a letter to Governor DeWine, urging him to continue drawing on his strong, pro-life principles to guide Ohio through this pandemic. Along with the letter, we provided a comprehensive list of guiding principles hospitals and health care providers should use, outlining proper triage and medical care during times of crisis. Some of those guidelines included:
- We cannot discriminate against patients due to their age or ability.
- We must always provide nutrition and fluids to patients – these can never be restricted.
- All decision makers, whether in government, private enterprise or social safety-net services, are called to move at all haste to seek to avoid life-or-death decisions for the afflicted
- Medical professionals must equitably allocate scarce resources without judgement of patients’ worth
- Euthanasia or assisted suicide, which are contrary to natural and moral law, are forbidden. Therefore, one can never deliberately or with knowledge cause the death of a patient or collaborate – at any level of assent – with another to bring about a death.
- We must pray for God’s help to save each person entrusted to our medical professionals and to guide and protect medical professionals who gallantly and tirelessly work to save our mothers, fathers, spouses, children and friends in life-and-death situations
Respect for the sanctity and dignity of all human life must always be humankind’s primary focus during these trying times. As our brave medical professionals daily risk their own health and safety to fight COVID-19, all while having to make unprecedented decisions, we must supply them with the tools they need to respond ethically and compassionately to this crisis. We are incredibly grateful for Governor DeWine’s compassionate and unwavering leadership in this time of crisis and we continue to trust that his strong pro-life convictions will guide decisions in Ohio moving forward.
To read our letter to Governor DeWine, click here.
To read our guidelines, click here.