The Washington Post reports some U.S. hospitals are considering universal do-not-resuscitate orders for people with the coronavirus.
Typically, the choice not to be resuscitated is made by the patient or their family ahead of time. But now, amid a nationwide shortage of medical supplies, many hospitals are weighing whether to nix that option and allow a patient whose breathing or heart stops to die.
A doctor in Chicago told The Post, "This is something about which we have had lots of communication with families, and I think they are very aware of the grave circumstances."
But this is new territory, and hospitals are still exploring whether it's even legal to make that kind of policy change.
The conversation comes as the U.S. overtook China, Italy and the rest of the world for the highest number of confirmed cases. But the White House's coronavirus response coordinator said Thursday that the situation isn't bad enough to warrant this sort of response.