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Who should be saved? Study gets diverse MD community views on healthcare disaster planning
Date:5/14/2014

y the issues that matter to people of various backgrounds."

The community meetings followed the same procedures used to gather information on views related to controversial policy issues including marriage equality, regional tax sharing, and economic redevelopment. According to the study results, the Baltimore City group spent significant time discussing whether particular groups should be disqualified from access to ventilators, such as convicted felons and undocumented immigrants. The study authors connect these concerns directly to crime-rate and demographic trends in the area.

Members of the Howard County community group were recruited by a private-public partnership focused on strengthening local resilience to disasters, and focused on logistical concerns. According to the study, "County residents struggled with the implementation timeframe required by different approaches: would someone die without a ventilator while decision-makers were still making up their minds? County residents also expressed greater concern about the potential for bias in decision making."

Regarding the differences in focus between the two groups, the study states, "[T]he differences reflected distinct ways of thinking about the issues. This finding underscores the importance of achieving a diverse, regionally varied sample of Marylanders" for the project's planned expansion across the state. With such diverse feedback from citizens, "health authorities and elected officials will be better prepared both to shape and to communicate the content of Maryland's future framework in meaningful ways," the study concludes.

Biddison says that the state-wide expansion of the study will include at least 10 forums, five for general community members and five for healthcare professionals. The results will be shared with Maryland health officials for practical application to the state's policy on healthcare resource allocation in the event of a disaster.


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Contact: Leah Ramsay
lramsay@jhu.edu
202-642-9640
Johns Hopkins Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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