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Soyun Kim 1 Article
Public Preferences for Allocation Principles for Scarce Medical Resources in the COVID-19 Pandemic in Korea: Comparisons With Ethicists’ Recommendations
Ji-Su Lee, Soyun Kim, Young Kyung Do
J Prev Med Public Health. 2021;54(5):360-369.   Published online August 26, 2021
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3961/jpmph.21.333
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AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Objectives
The purpose of this study was to investigate public preferences regarding allocation principles for scarce medical resources in the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, particularly in comparison with the recommendations of ethicists.
Methods
An online survey was conducted with a nationally representative sample of 1509 adults residing in Korea, from November 2 to 5, 2020. The degree of agreement with resource allocation principles in the context of the medical resource constraints precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic was examined. The results were then compared with ethicists’ recommendations. We also examined whether the perceived severity of COVID-19 explained differences in individual preferences, and by doing so, whether perceived severity helps explain discrepancies between public preferences and ethicists’ recommendations.
Results
Overall, the public of Korea agreed strongly with the principles of “save the most lives,” “Koreans first,” and “sickest first,” but less with “random selection,” in contrast to the recommendations of ethicists. “Save the most lives” was given the highest priority by both the public and ethicists. Higher perceived severity of the pandemic was associated with a greater likelihood of agreeing with allocation principles based on utilitarianism, as well as those promoting and rewarding social usefulness, in line with the opinions of expert ethicists.
Conclusions
The general public of Korea preferred rationing scarce medical resources in the COVID-19 pandemic predominantly based on utilitarianism, identity and prioritarianism, rather than egalitarianism. Further research is needed to explore the reasons for discrepancies between public preferences and ethicists’ recommendations.
Summary
Korean summary
코로나19 대유행으로 가시화된 의료자원의 부족 상황에서 서로 다른 의료자원 배분 원칙에 대한 일반 대중의 선호를 조사한 연구이다. 제시된 여러 원칙 중에서, 공리주의, 한국인 아이덴티티, 약자우선주의에 기초한 배분 원칙이 가장 높은 선호를 보였다. 이러한 결과는, 일반 상황과 달리 감염병 대유행 상황에서는 공리주의에 기초한 배분 원칙을 강화하되 사회적 유용성도 자원 배분의 주요 원칙으로 받아들일 수 있다는 윤리학자들의 견해와는 차이를 보인다.

Citations

Citations to this article as recorded by  
  • Explicit discrimination and ingroup favoritism, but no implicit biases in hypothetical triage decisions during COVID-19
    Nico Gradwohl, Hansjörg Neth, Helge Giese, Wolfgang Gaissmaier
    Scientific Reports.2024;[Epub]     CrossRef
  • Health Professional vs Layperson Values and Preferences on Scarce Resource Allocation
    Russell G. Buhr, Ashley Huynh, Connie Lee, Vishnu P. Nair, Ruby Romero, Lauren E. Wisk
    JAMA Network Open.2024; 7(3): e241958.     CrossRef
  • What are the views of Quebec and Ontario citizens on the tiebreaker criteria for prioritizing access to adult critical care in the extreme context of a COVID-19 pandemic?
    Claudia Calderon Ramirez, Yanick Farmer, Andrea Frolic, Gina Bravo, Nathalie Orr Gaucher, Antoine Payot, Lucie Opatrny, Diane Poirier, Joseph Dahine, Audrey L’Espérance, James Downar, Peter Tanuseputro, Louis-Martin Rousseau, Vincent Dumez, Annie Descôtea
    BMC Medical Ethics.2024;[Epub]     CrossRef
  • Consensual ideas for prioritizing patients: correlates of preferences in the allocation of medical resources
    Adrian Furnham, Charlotte Robinson, Simmy Grover
    Ethics & Behavior.2023; 33(7): 568.     CrossRef
  • Public voices on tie-breaking criteria and underlying values in COVID-19 triage protocols to access critical care: a scoping review
    Claudia Calderon Ramirez, Yanick Farmer, Marie-Eve Bouthillier
    Discover Health Systems.2023;[Epub]     CrossRef

JPMPH : Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health