Valuing Lives: Allocating Scarce Medical Resources During a Public Health Emergency and the Americans with Disabilities Act

6 Pages Posted: 3 Apr 2012 Last revised: 5 Apr 2012

See all articles by Leslie E. Wolf

Leslie E. Wolf

Georgia State University College of Law

Wendy Fritzen Hensel

Georgia State University College of Law

Date Written: 2011

Abstract

Public health emergencies from natural disasters, infection, and man-made threats can present ethically or legally challenging questions about who will receive scarce resources. Federal and state governments have offered little guidance on how to prioritize distribution of limited resources. Several allocation proposals have appeared in the medical literature, but components of the proposed approaches violate federal antidiscrimination laws and ethical principles about fair treatment. Further planning efforts are needed to develop practical allocation guidelines that comport with antidiscrimination laws and the moral commitment to equal access reflected in those laws.

Keywords: disasters, infection, public health, ADA, disability law, disabilities, discrimination, equal access, health law

JEL Classification: H51, K19, K32, K39, I12, I18, I19

Suggested Citation

Wolf, Leslie E. and Hensel, Wendy Fritzen, Valuing Lives: Allocating Scarce Medical Resources During a Public Health Emergency and the Americans with Disabilities Act (2011). PLoS Currents Disasters, September 2011, Georgia State University College of Law, Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2012-10, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2033869

Leslie E. Wolf (Contact Author)

Georgia State University College of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 4037
Atlanta, GA 30302-4037
United States

Wendy Fritzen Hensel

Georgia State University College of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 4037
Atlanta, GA 30302-4037
United States
404-982-6803 (Phone)

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