SOMERVILLE, N.J. – The Murphy Administration announced this week that it will convene a bioethics panel to help decide who lives (and who dies) in the event that COVID-19 strained New Jersey hospitals run low on respirators and personnel.
“The group will discuss the bioethical considerations of life-saving modalities,” state Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli explained at the Governor’s Thursday press conference.
The prospect of state government intervening in a decision routinely left to doctors horrified Jack Ciattarelli, the first and only Republican declared to challenge Phil Murphy in 2021.
“The Murphy administration now saying it will convene a panel to discuss the bio-ethical considerations of there not being enough ventilators to care for the critically ill is flat out unacceptable,” said Ciattarelli in a Friday video shared on social media. “We’re here to save lives, not tell people who dies and who lives. We’re better than that, and let’s stop trying to justify medical rationing in the name of transparency.”
In the ongoing national effort to increase the supply of ventilators, the Trump Administration has invoked the 1950 Defense Production Act and impressed General Motors into mass-producing them.
Hard-hit New York is pursuing other options to triaging who gets a ventilator including an experimental method to split ventilators between two or even four patients if necessary.