Editor's note

With a surge of critically ill COVID-19 patients, several states are providing doctors guidelines to allocate scarce resources such as ventilators to those who are more likely to survive. These policies will predictably favor younger patients over older and healthier over those with chronic diseases.

While this may seem to be best way of saving as many lives as possible, University of Virginia legal scholar Deborah Hellman, who studies discrimination, argues that some groups will end up suffering more than others – and among them will be those with disabilities.

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Kalpana Jain

Senior Religion + Ethics Editor

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With a large number of patients with COVID-19, doctors face difficult choices. John Moore/Getty Images

Doctors facing grim choice over ventilators told to put patients with disabilities at the back of the line

Deborah Hellman, University of Virginia

Doctors face difficult choices about rationing medical care. A scholar who studies discrimination argues that those with chronic illnesses and disabilities will be hit the hardest.

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