Faced with more critically ill COVID-19 patients than equipment to treat them, New York hospitals are mapping out how they can ration care and equipment in order to save the greatest number of patients possible. In the last two days, internal memos from a chairman of surgery at New York Presbyterian, one of the city’s largest hospital systems, raised alarms that the estimated crush of coronavirus patients within the next month would require 700 to 934 intensive-care beds, well beyond the current capacity. The Queens branch of New York Presbyterian is actively putting together a committee to help make such critical-care determinations in an emergency, so individual doctors would know what to do at the moment it matters most. According to emails reviewed by ABC News, that hospital has already convened an “ethics committee” to address the “triage of ventilators.” In layman’s terms, that is a process that dictates how medical staff would decide which patients are assigned ventilators in the event the number of patients needing those breathing machines surpasses the number available in the hospital. Ethics committees are not new, though few hospitals have fully functioning panels. For those committees that are in place, the types of decisions


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