From an academic perspective, bioethicists often discuss a health care worker’s “duty to care.” Health care workers are good people and are willing to give of themselves in order to care for the infirm and vulnerable.
Reading a story like this brings the agony and terror of negotiating one’s duty to care in the midst of death and destruction from theory to the reality of life. I cannot imagine the burden these health care workers are bearing on behalf of these patients.
“We choose who gets ventilation by deciding who has the best chance of survival,” [Mohammed Qandil] said. “For us as a team, these aren’t easy decisions. It’s a morally sensitive issue with a lot of guilt.”
This is a tremendous amount of moral distress for health care workers. I pray for peace in the region, for the end of suffering, and that health care workers will have what they need to care for those in need.