Bioethical Guidelines of the Costa Rican Social Security Allow Staff to Decide who Requires an ICU Bed

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    A document with bioethical guidelines was prepared by the Center for Strategic Development and Information on Health and Social Security (Cendeisss), in which a series of recommendations addressed to the authorities and their officials were incorporated, in order to guide the approach to the users during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    It is a guide in which it indicates that the provision of services at all levels should be guided by objective, clear and transparent clinical criteria, so that they do not improperly suggest or promote automatic, routine and depersonalized decisions, explained Sandra Rodríguez, head of the area of Bioethics of the Cendeisss.

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    In the care guidelines and protocols, criteria and clinical scales are incorporated that facilitate decision-making regarding the admission of people to hospitalization as well as to an Intensive Care Unit.

    “These guidelines provide ethical recommendations to address the current situation, as well as address a scenario where the capacity of attention may be exceeded, despite the great efforts that the Fund has made to increase said capacity. It is important to mention that there will not be neglected care for people with diseases other than COVID-19“, clarified Rodríguez.

    Non-abandonment guide

    In addition, the guidelines state the duty of non-abandonment; This means accompanying in different ways and offering alternatives to users during the approach to their disease.

    “The guidelines respect life, ensure the protection of vulnerable people and those with diminished autonomy; hence, every person regardless of their age, their contribution to social security or their socioeconomic condition deserves to be recognized as a person with dignity and with the human rights that are inherent”, she added.

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