Op-ed: Physicians on frontline of COVID-19 fight are preparing their wills

Faced with the harsh reality of working on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, many physicians are preparing their wills, according to a March 26 editorial written by Bari Weiss, an opinion writer for The New York Times.

Physicians are now asking themselves the same end-of-life questions they're used to asking older patients or those with serious illnesses, Ms. Weiss noted. In the article, she shares several examples of how physicians are coming to terms with this.

Michelle Au, MD, an anesthesiologist at Atlanta-based Emory St. Joseph's Hospital, spent last weekend updating the list of people who would care for her children if she and her husband both die.

"We have it four deep now," Dr. Au told Ms. Weiss. "The top two choices are older, and these people are in a high-risk group. The third person is a doctor. So we added a fourth person who is a low risk for contracting this thing. As the backstop in case it comes to that."

John Marshall, MD, chairman of emergency medicine at New York City-based Maimonides Medical Center, said he's been encouraging colleagues to draw up their own wills if they haven't yet.

"We know what's coming," he told Ms. Weiss. "There are a good number of people who are going to die here … healthcare workers will be part of that number."

To view the full article, click here.

More articles on integration and physician issues:
Nearly half of surveyed primary care practices say they don't have capacity for COVID-19 testing
Physicians take drastic measures to protect families from coronavirus
Primary care recruitment: How 3 organizations are moving the needle

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