Alessandro Ferrara

Considerations about the Ethic of Triage. From the analysis of the cases of Brazil, The United States and Italy to the Justification of utilitarianism

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Triage; utilitarianism; ethics; Covid-19; human rights

Over the past year, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, most medical associations and ethics committees around the world have issued a series of triage guidelines and recommendations that seek to ethically justify the allocation of scarce medical resources. In my article, starting from the analysis of the triage approach adopted in Brazil, the United States and Italy, I will try to verify whether the applied criteria can fit into a utilitarian vision. I will later provide an ethical justification for the utilitarian approach based on the self-preservation theory and on the «veil of ignorance» suggested by J. Rawls. I will also support the thesis that human beings have the right to live all stages of their life, and that, in triage, age should be taken into account. In conclusion, I will suggest the application of some principles that could limit the violation of fundamental human rights in the allocation of scarce medical resources, pursuing the goal of saving as many lives as possible.

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