Texas hospitals may soon deny unvaccinated patients access to ICU beds
Depiction of a COVID-19 patient in the hospital. (Shutterstock.com)

Hospitals in North Texas have "quietly developed" a plan to allow doctors to take vaccination status into account when deciding how to triage intensive-care beds if the coronavirus pandemic overwhelms ICUs, The Dallas Morning News reports.

"A copy of an internal memo written by Dr. Robert Fine, co-chair of the North Texas Mass Critical Care Guideline Task Force, was sent to members of the task force," the newspaper reported, noting a copy had been leaked to "The Watchdog" columnist Dave Lieber explained. "Although their recommendations are not enforceable, the guidelines are generally followed."

The change will only occur during a Level 3 alert, which could happen within two weeks.

Dr. Harald Schmidt, a professor of medical ethics and health policy at the University of Pennsylvania, worried about the change in policy.

"This policy pretends that it is just focusing on objective medical knowledge, but it ignores societal injustices," Schmidt said. "In such cruel clarity, COVID-19 has exposed the consequences of the structural inequities that we've had so long. That's why it's critical that we don't add to that, and in this case, we risk that."

Read the full column.