May 21, 2020

Bioethicist Says Response to COVID-19 in Nursing Homes Exposes "Throwaway Culture"

Photo Credit: Ulrich Joho / Flickr
Fordham University Professor of Bioethics Charles C. Camosy decried America's response to vulnerable Americans contracting COVID-19 in nursing homes both in a Fox News and a followup piece in the New York Times.

Camosy pointed out that some estimates say roughly half of all COVID-19 deaths in the US have been nursing home residents. Despite both this and the fact that the first known outbreak occurred in a nursing home, "...we did not act. Personal protective equipment, special training and extra staff went almost exclusively to our critical care facilities. Nursing homes got virtually nothing. Well, that’s not entirely true. In New York and other places we gave them patients, and even nurses, infected with the virus."

Camosy dubbed America's culture surrounding nursing homes "throwaway culture," arguing conditions in nursing homes have been poor for some time.

The people that our society resigns to nursing homes cannot be forgotten and left to die. They deserve the same respect and dignity that every other life does, and the COVID-19 response needs to reflect that. State governors who forced COVID-19 into nursing homes while only providing relief to hospitals only prove that they have no desire to protect the most vulnerable. Hopefully, this crisis can prove as a turning point after which Americans will recognize the humanity of our elderly population and respect their right to life.

Click here to read Dr. Camosy's article.