New York rescinds do-not-resuscitate guidelines instructing EMTs to let patients die

New York

Update 4/24/20: New York State repealed the do-not-resuscitate order on Wednesday which advised first-responders not to attempt to revive any patient without a pulse.

New York’s Department of Health originally called the order “necessary during the COVID-19 response to protect the health and safety of EMS providers…”  and stated it was “based on standards recommended by the American College of Emergency Physicians…” However, Fox News has reported that the Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker has since decided to rescind the order. As explained by the health department’s spokeswoman Jill Montag, the new guidelines “don’t reflect New York’s standards.”

4/23/20: New York State is now telling emergency responders not to revive patients without a pulse when they arrive on the scene. The decision was made because of the high number of coronavirus patients overwhelming hospitals in New York City, but it has outraged paramedics.

“They’re not giving people a second chance to live anymore,” said Oren Barzilay, head of a union that includes EMTs and paramedics. “Our job is to bring patients back to life. This guideline takes that away from us.”

A veteran FDNY Emergency Medical Services worker agreed, telling The New York Post, “Now you don’t get 20 minutes of CPR if you have no rhythm. They simply let you die.” He said that about three or four people out of every 100 with no pulse are able to be brought back through CPR as wells as medications and hospitalization. He added that while it may be “a small percentage,” “for those three or four people, it’s a big deal.”

The state Health Department memo, which according to the New York Post was released last week, states that suspending the usual practice of attempting to revive a patient for 20 minutes is “necessary during the COVID-19 response to protect the health and safety of EMS providers by limiting their exposures, conserve resources, and ensure optimal use of equipment to save the greatest number of lives.” The new guideline follows a previous one from earlier in the month that said adult patients in cardiac arrest unable to be resuscitated at the scene should not be brought to the hospital.

READ: This New York case against sidewalk counselors could have national implications

The FNDY issued a letter in opposition to the new guideline, telling emergency workers that they should not stop trying to save patients who don’t have a pulse. According to The Post, the letter states, “the NYC 911 system will continue to maintain a higher level of care.”

However, the state Health Department has said that the change is “based on standards widely agreed upon by the physician leaders of EMS Regional Medical Control Systems across NYS and the Medical Standards Committee of the State Emergency Medical Services Advisory Council.”

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has maintained throughout the coronavirus pandemic that every life matters and that he is “not willing to sacrifice 1-2% of New Yorkers.”

“That’s not who we are,” he said. “We will fight to save every life we can. I am not giving up.”

Now his state Health Department seems to be singing a different tune — one his track record seems more aligned with. The state of New York, under Cuomo’s leadership, has been a hotspot for not just COVID-19, but for abortion. His administration ushered in the Reproductive Health Act, a pro-abortion law so extreme that a murder suspect can now no longer be charged with killing a woman’s wanted preborn child. When that law passed, allowing abortion up until birth, Cuomo celebrated by wearing a pink tie and lighting up One World Trade Center in pink — a shameful act, especially in light of the fact that preborn children who died on 9/11 are remembered there. New York City also became the first to pay directly for the abortions of low-income children, and though the law has yet to pass, Cuomo has also said he would support legalizing assisted suicide.

Cuomo’s historic dedication to abortion and this new move from the state Health Department, beg the question: Does New York State care about saving the vulnerable at any stage of life?

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