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covid, ethics 

A quick look at data on Switzerland indicates that the vast majority of covid deaths (~90%) are accounted for by people over the age of 80 who are not vaccinated

ourworldindata.org/grapher/cov

ourworldindata.org/grapher/swi

Does this not imply that the great majority of deaths comes from voluntary non-vaccination in the group of people are aware of what death means?

I fail to make a convincing argument for current corona measures given this information.

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covid, ethics 

Addendum: IF compulsory vaccination THEN in reverse age order.

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covid, ethics 

Addendum II: compulsory vaccination in reverse age order OR denial of service to people suffering from (purely) covid related symptoms.

(Other non-status-quo options?)

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covid, ethics 

@douginamug do you think it's a form, albeit quite different, to assisted suicide?

I remember my Grandad having an "if it's my time, it's my time" attitude when lots of people near him were catching it. I think that was slightly before the roll-outs of vaccine

covid, ethics 

@athairbirb I know what you mean... it's a bit different though. That attitude doesn't necessarily mean people want to die, but are willing to accept the risk. More like not wearing a seatbelt or something.

But yes, I do see there being a specific, voluntary element which seems to get ignored in the discourse. If these people want to take the disproportionate risk, why don't we let them?

covid, ethics 

@douginamug I think, previously certainly, the risk was not to them alone. It extended to those in their environs and visiting.

I know healthcare has a keep-alive-at-all-costs mentality to healthcare in UK (probably west-wide tbh) and it's something I didn't see in veterinary care, which was refreshing and more humane.

covid, ethics 

@athairbirb @douginamug There is an important ethical difference between taking actions deliberately to hasten death and not taking unusual actions to forestall it. (Unless you're a consequentialist.)

It's true that some old people are ready to go. Pneumonia used to be called "the old man's friend".

In the case of Switzerland, I think we need more information to know why so many octogenarians aren't vaccinated.

covid, ethics 

@douginamug Indeed. But there is the worry about long-Covid too.

Also, for people who can't be vaccinated there has to be a trade off: currently the UK NHS seems to be suffering more from lack of staff due to the current measures rather than an overload of seriously ill people. People who can't be vaccinated presumably have other conditions to worry about and you have to ask if the current measures are doing them more harm than good by delaying medical attention for those.

covid, ethics 

@edavies Yes. Although I struggle to find good data on long covid, which is far more subjective than death. The restrictions on the other hand are clear, and lead to all kinds of secondary and tertiary effects which are also tricky to quantify.

Those who "can't" be vaccinated appears to be an ever decreasing group. Israel appears to reach 100% for some of it's oldest groups. ...

covid, ethics 

@edavies ...

In any case, I'd agree with you that overloading of medical services is the fundamental issue, which is significantly but not entirely due to the pandemic.

"How to not overwhelm the health service" is a much different question to "how to stop everyone from getting covid"

covid, ethics 

@douginamug Problem is that these people will still take up hospital beds, so if there's a big wave it becomes impossible to care for vaccinated non-Covid patients. So either hospitals should be able to refuse non-vaccinated Covid patients or we have to keep society-wide measures to prevent big waves.

covid, ethics 

@douginamug I spent a week on intensive care myself in summer 2020 for a non-Covid issue. Luckily this was during a low-point between two Covid waves, but if all the beds had been occupied then I wouldn't have gotten the care I needed.

covid, ethics 

@brecht I'm very glad to hear you got the care you needed!

And that's absolutely the point I wanted to make: the issue appears to be an overloaded medical system.

Restricting the livelihoods of the populace, the overwhelming majority of whom won't be seriously affected, for the sake of a few, elderly people who don't want to be vaccinated, feels like collective punishment.

covid, ethics 

@brecht here in europe, it looks like vaccination will become compulsory in more and more countries.

I feel like the most rational thing, if going that route, would be to bring it in in reverse age order. Perhaps once the 80+ are done, we're back within healthcare system bounds!

(Sorry if this sounds cold/ageist. Not intention.)

covid, ethics 

@douginamug Personally, if we're going to impose vaccine mandates (as I think we should), I much prefer imposing it for everyone above 18. Drawing any other distinction between adult citizens feels tricky to me, both legally and ethically.

I'm not comfortable with the already widespread mandates for health care workers for the same reason. Seems very harsh to single out people who've had suffered so much the last two years.

covid, ethics 

@douginamug
I'm not seeing a chart of death by age.

covid, ethics 

@cjd Ourworldindata only lets you do one decade-group at a time, vacc/unvacc :/

covid, ethics 

@douginamug
If I understand you well, your point would be that not getting vaccinated is not particularly harmful to other people, more just to one's self - and therefore compulsory vaccination is an undue abrogation of civil liberties for the value it provides ?

covid, ethics 

@cjd I think so.

And I see the general restriction of civil liberties to be more damaging than compulsory vaccination.

Removing the general restrictions is of significant concern to me (when I remember they aren't normal!) and I would say compulsory vacc. would be a lesser evil. And then, only rational in reverse age order.

Or no compulsory vaccination AND no general restrictions AND some way of not overloading healthcare system.

covid, ethics 

@douginamug
I'm not sure the healthcare system is under particular stress right now. IIRC deaths are almost in line with historical trends re seasonal flu.

However, portable ventilators which can be deployed in homes seem like the obvious way to create the necessary capacity.

covid, ethics 

@cjd @douginamug In the Netherlands, less seriously affected patients are sent home with an oxygen tank. But the limiting factor isn't ventilators or beds, it's skilled medical personnel who can monitor patients on ventilators and intervene if their situation worsens.

covid, ethics 

@michiel @douginamug
Once a person is on a ventilator, what is the next level of intervention that is possible?

I was under the impression that a ventilator was about all that current medical procedures had available.

covid, ethics 

@cjd @douginamug from what I understand, COVID patients frequently suffer from kidney failure. They're kept sedated so that they can tolerate the ventilator, which means their vitals mut be monitored. Their lungs and throat must be manually cleaned of mucus. Obviously they are fed with a feeding tube, they have to pee using a katheter (which must be emptied), etc.

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