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Good rules for ICU admission allow a fair allocation of resources, even in a pandemic

Viewpoint
Suter P
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20230

A set of guidelines concerning ethical, medical and social aspects of triage decisions, as well as of other related problems of the COVID-19 pandemic: In all cases, decisions must be based on sound, transparent and understandable rules.

COVID-19 pandemic: triage for intensive-care treatment under resource scarcity

Special article
Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20229

If insufficient resources are available, rationing decisions will become necessary, placing considerable burdens on medical staff. This makes it all the more important that uniform criteria for ICU admission and continued occupancy should be applied throughout Switzerland.

Recommendations for the admission of patients with COVID-19 to intensive care and intermediate care units (ICUs and IMCUs)

Special article
Swiss Society of Intensive Care Medicine
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20227

The Swiss Society of Intensive Care Medicine (SSIM) has elaborated detailed and coherent guidelines defining the criteria for admission to the ICU in situations of bed shortage.

COVID-19: decision making and palliative care

Special article
Borasio GD, Gamondi C, Obrist M, Jox R, for the COVID-19 task force of palliative ch
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20233

Due to the current development around the COVID-19 pandemic, palliative ch has created a Task Force to provide recommendations for health professionals on the treatment of palliative care patients in the various settings ‒ inpatient and outpatient.

Stay fit or get bit - ethical issues in sharing health data with insurers’ apps

Review article: Biomedical intelligence
Martani A, Shaw D, Elger BS
Swiss Med Wkly. 2019;149:w20089

The fact that some health insurers’ data-sharing apps are based on the monitoring of individual behaviour and the sharing of health-related sensitive personal information raises legal and ethical concerns.

Reflecting upon the humanitarian use of unmanned aerial vehicles (drones)

Review article: Biomedical intelligence
Tatsidou E, Tsiamis C, Karamagioli E, Boudouris G, Pikoulis A, Kakalou E, Pikoulis E
Swiss Med Wkly. 2019;149:w20065

Hopes are very high that drones will provide extraordinary help to emergency response teams. On the other hand, critics are concerned about the real value of this technology.

Medical-ethical guidelines: Assessment of capacity in medical practice

Special article
Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences
Swiss Med Wkly. 2019;149:w20058

The present guidelines thus offer guidance for medical practice. They define the principles to be observed in the assessment of capacity and describe the procedure to be adopted, both in general and in particular areas of medical practice.

Dual use in the 21st century: emerging risks and global governance

Review article: Biomedical intelligence
Ienca M, Vayena E
Swiss Med Wkly. 2018;148:w14688

Dual use risks in the second decade of the 21st century are characterised by: diversification of dual use domains, digitalisation of potential threats, and the proliferation of actors.

Medical-ethical guidelines: Management of dying and death

Special article
Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences
Swiss Med Wkly. 2018;148:w14664

Provision of treatment, care and support for patients who are facing death is a key medical duty, requiring a high degree of respect for the patient’s dignity and autonomous wishes, and considerable ethical responsibility.

Rethinking hospitalisations for substance use disorders

Viewpoint
Zullino D
Swiss Med Wkly. 2018;148:w14672

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