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Admission criteria and management of critical care patients in a pandemic context: position of the Ethics Commission of the French Intensive Care Society, update of April 2021

  • Lesieur, Olivier1
  • Quenot, Jean Pierre2
  • Cohen-Solal, Zoé3
  • David, Raphaëlle4
  • De Saint Blanquat, Laure5
  • Elbaz, Maxime6
  • Gaillard Le Roux, Bénédicte7
  • Goulenok, Cyril8
  • Lavoué, Sylvain9
  • Lemiale, Virginie3
  • Mercier, Emmanuelle10
  • Mezher, Chaouki11
  • Misset, Benoît12
  • Penven, Gwendolyn13
  • Poujol, Anne Laure14
  • Quentin, Bertrand15
  • Quéré, Régis5
  • Van Der Linden, Thierry16
  • Rigaud, Jean Philippe17
  • 1 General Hospital, La Rochelle, France , La Rochelle (France)
  • 2 University Hospital, Dijon, France , Dijon (France)
  • 3 Saint Louis University Hospital, Paris, France , Paris (France)
  • 4 Paris Fire Fighters Brigade (BSPP), Paris, France , Paris (France)
  • 5 Necker University Hospital, Paris, France , Paris (France)
  • 6 Hôtel Dieu University Hospital, Paris, France , Paris (France)
  • 7 University Hospital, Nantes, France , Nantes (France)
  • 8 J. Cartier Private Hospital, Massy, France , Massy (France)
  • 9 University Hospital, Rennes, France , Rennes (France)
  • 10 University Hospital, Tours, France , Tours (France)
  • 11 General Hospital, Trévenans, France , Trévenans (France)
  • 12 University Hospital, Liège, Belgium , Liège (Belgium)
  • 13 University Hospital, Reims, France , Reims (France)
  • 14 Pitié-Salpêtrière University Hospital, Paris, France , Paris (France)
  • 15 Gustave Eiffel University, Marne-la-Vallée, France , Marne-la-Vallée (France)
  • 16 Catholic University Hospital, Lille, France , Lille (France)
  • 17 General Hospital, Dieppe, France , Dieppe (France)
Published Article
Annals of Intensive Care
Springer (Biomed Central Ltd.)
Publication Date
Apr 26, 2021
DOI: 10.1186/s13613-021-00855-z
Springer Nature


Intensive care unit professionals have experience in critical care and its proportionality, collegial decision-making, withholding or withdrawal of treatment deemed futile, and communication with patients’ relatives. These elements rely on ethical values from which we must not deviate in a pandemic situation. The recommendations made by the Ethics Commission of the French Intensive Care Society reflect an approach of responsibility and solidarity towards our citizens regarding the potential impact of a pandemic on critical care resources in France, with the fundamental requirement of respect for human dignity and equal access to health care for all.

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