Switzerland: Should coronavirus sceptics forfeit their bed in the case of ICU bottlenecks?

Switzerland: Should coronavirus sceptics forfeit their bed in the case of ICU bottlenecks?
A coronavirus sceptic at a protest in Zurich. Photo: FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP
A prominent Swiss Health Economist has suggested coronavirus skeptics forfeit their places in intensive care units in the event of bottlenecks.

Intensive care places are running out all across Switzerland, with the situation in some cantons becoming particularly dire. 

READ: Switzerland's intensive care units ‘close to capacity or above' 

Willy Oggier, a leading Health Economist who advises a number of Swiss hospitals on the coronavirus pandemic, has recommended a radical idea in the event of bottlenecks in intensive care units. 

Oggier told Swiss broadsheet Tages Anzeiger that whether or not someone is a coronavirus skeptic should be considered in making triage decisions. 

“I suggest that corona skeptics forfeit their right to an acute bed or an intensive care place if there are bottlenecks,” said Oggier. 

“Anyone who is reported because they wilfully disregard the rules of distance and hygiene should be responsible for their actions. I suggest that these people be recorded by name and, in case of doubt, not be given an intensive care bed. 

“This is consistent with the polluter pays principle.”

Oggier defended his suggestion, saying it did not amount to a restriction on free speech. 

“No, it's not about putting controls on social behaviour.

“I’m just talking about the bottleneck situations. If the hospitals reach their limits, the medical professionals cannot avoid deciding who to give the last bed to. 

“I think it's fairer when the self-proclaimed Corona rebel is left behind than when it simply hits the oldest patient in the room.”

 

 


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  1. If “forfeiting” the spot is accompanied by the ending of all restrictions on those who take it up and the return of already paid health insurance premiums for the last few years, sure, why not? That’s a pretty safe bet for a most of us. COVID poses virtually no risk of an ICU visit for anyone of working age.

    What’s that I hear? This guy isn’t making any such offer? We’d still have to put up with the useless restrictions and still be forced to pay for healthcare we’d be denied? Well then, why should anyone care what Willy Ogier thinks? Someone needs to remind him that when people pay for health insurance, the other side of the deal is they get treated if they need it. If hospitals need to add more capacity then it’s their job to do that. It’s not the job of everyone else to suffer so they can sit on their backsides and give prim lectures to the population. I think hospital and health insurance workers do actually realise that, so no surprise this idiotic and illegal suggestion comes from an academic far removed from the front line – the same class of people who have been consistently wrong about everything related to COVID throughout 2020.

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