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The federal government is coming to the aid of vulnerable patients, pushing back against the directives of some U.S. bishops.
Talk of doctors rationing ventilators or other specialized treatment is everywhere as the Wuhan virus takes its toll, claiming more than 40 thousand U.S. lives and putting three-quarters of a million more in danger.
But the Trump administration says old and young alike deserve treatment.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency last week torpedoed the idea of rationing, saying decisions on medical treatment must be free of "generalizations and judgments about the individual's quality of life or relative value to society ... ."
Astoundingly, this isn't what the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops wanted.
With the exception of Tyler Bp. Joseph Strickland, Texas bishops last month lobbied Gov. Greg Abbott to waive "regulations and statutes which could result in fines, civil liability and even criminal charges for decisions related to the allocation of resources during this declared disaster."
The pro-life group Texas Right to Life said this would, in effect, "suspend all patient protections currently in law, violating the constitutional rights of vulnerable patients."
One day later the feds again stood up. This time it was the Office for Civil Rights under the Department of Health and Human Services directed by Roger Severino.
Severino said, "Our civil rights laws protect the equal dignity of every human life from ruthless utilitarianism."
While the Trump administration seems committed to leaving no one behind during the pandemic, the question is, why aren't the bishops?