Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

Health Services Research & Development

Go to the ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR&D Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Rationing Limited Healthcare Resources in the COVID-19 Era and Beyond: Ethical Considerations Regarding Older Adults.

Farrell TW, Francis L, Brown T, Ferrante LE, Widera E, Rhodes R, Rosen T, Hwang U, Witt LJ, Thothala N, Liu SW, Vitale CA, Braun UK, Stephens C, Saliba D. Rationing Limited Healthcare Resources in the COVID-19 Era and Beyond: Ethical Considerations Regarding Older Adults. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. 2020 Jun 1; 68(6):1143-1149.

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions


Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) continues to impact older adults disproportionately with respect to serious consequences ranging from severe illness and hospitalization to increased mortality risk. Concurrently, concerns about potential shortages of healthcare professionals and health supplies to address these issues have focused attention on how these resources are ultimately allocated and used. Some strategies, for example, misguidedly use age as an arbitrary criterion that disfavors older adults in resource allocation decisions. This is a companion article to the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) position statement, "Resource Allocation Strategies and Age-Related Considerations in the COVID-19 Era and Beyond." It is intended to inform stakeholders including hospitals, health systems, and policymakers about ethical considerations that should be considered when developing strategies for allocation of scarce resources during an emergency involving older adults. This review presents the legal and ethical background for the position statement and discusses these issues that informed the development of the AGS positions: (1) age as a determining factor, (2) age as a tiebreaker, (3) criteria with a differential impact on older adults, (4) individual choices and advance directives, (5) racial/ethnic disparities and resource allocation, and (6) scoring systems and their impact on older adults. It also considers the role of advance directives as expressions of individual preferences in pandemics. J Am Geriatr Soc 68:1143-1149, 2020.

Questions about the HSR&D website? Email the Web Team

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.