By Louise P. King, MD, JD and Sigal Klipstein, MD
In recent days, we have seen our efforts at physical distancing flatten curves to mesas and begun to discuss re-opening for “elective” –- more commonly referred to as non-urgent -– medical care.
At some fundamental level, almost all care is essential to the individual seeking it, just as all lives have intrinsic value. The question then is not what is “essential,” because in trying to create such a list we will invariably wish to include so many conditions that we will list much of the breadth of medicine.
Instead, the question must be: can we accommodate non-emergent/non-urgent care safely or not, and if yes, which care do we address first as we re-open? While we cannot address all the issues raised by these questions in this short piece, we will highlight some considerations below.