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Papers of the Week

2020 Apr

Recenti Prog Med



[Ethical, deontologic and legal considerations about SIAARTI Document “Clinical ethics recommendations for the allocation of intensive care treatments, in exceptional, resource-limited circumstances”.]


Piccinni M, Aprile A, Benciolini P, Busatta L, Cadamuro E, Malacarne P, Marin F, Orsi L, Palermo Fabris E, Pisu A, Provolo D, Scalera A, Tomasi M, Zamperetti N, Rodriguez D
Recenti Prog Med. 2020 Apr; 111(4):212-222.
PMID: 32319443.


On 6 March 2020, the Italian Society of Anaesthesia Analgesia Resuscitation and Intensive care (SIAARTI) published the document "Clinical Ethics Recommendations for Admission to and Suspension of Intensive Care in Exceptional Conditions of Imbalance between Needs and Available Resources". The document, which aims to propose treatment decision-making criteria in the face of exceptional imbalances between health needs and available resources, has produced strong reactions, within the medical-scientific community, in the academic world, and in the media. In the current context of international public health emergency caused by the CoViD-19 epidemic, this work aims to explain the ethical, deontological and legal bases of the SIAARTI Document and to propose methodologic and argumentative integrations that are useful for understanding and placing in context the decision-making criteria proposed. The working group that contributed to the drafting of this paper agrees that it is appropriate that healthcare personnel, who is particularly committed to taking care of those who are currently in need of intensive or sub-intensive care, should benefit from clear operational indications that are useful to orient care and, at the same time, that the population should know in advance which criteria will guide the tragic choices that may fall on each one of us. This contribution therefore firstly reflects on the appropriateness of the SIAARTI standpoint and the objectives of the SIAARTI Document. It then turns to demonstrate how the recommendations it proposes can be framed within a shared interdisciplinary, ethical, deontological and legal perspective.