Our anonymous hero behind Medical School 2020 is working in a hospital now. Part of his residency training has included shifts in the intensive care unit. There he has gained some insight into why American ICUs became clogged during COVID-19 peaks.
“Hospitals wouldn’t let relatives come in to see the patients,” he said. “A patient with no long-term chance of survival can’t be unplugged with relatives approving ‘goals of care.’ But people are reluctant to approve unplugging a loved one if they aren’t able to see the patient and understand the patient’s situation.” In other words, without relatives coming into the ICU, the docs and nurses had no “goals of care” and therefore kept patients on ventilators for weeks after they would ordinarily have been unplugged.