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The duel: Is it more important to save younger lives?

If coronavirus presents medics with a stark ethical choice, which considerations should determine their course of action?

Preparation at the ExCel centre. Photo:Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire/PA Images

YES—Peter Singer

 If we are faced with a tragic choice, as doctors already have been in some countries because they do not have enough ventilators for all the Covid-19 patients who will die without one, then—other things being equal—it is more important to save younger lives, because younger people are likely to live longer.  

The “other things being equal” clause is essential. I am not suggesting we should put a 40-year-old with incurable cancer on the last ventilator…

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