Guidelines from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health establish a set of principles that healthcare organizations should follow in Massachusetts when developing protocols for altering standards of care within their organizations. The guidelines recognize that priority for limited medical resources will be based upon the allocation of scarce resources to maximize the number of lives saved. The guidance promotes allocation that is:
1) driven by scientific evidence and clinically sound medical information
2) prohibitive of disparate treatment that is not based on evidence
3) implemented without discrimination or regard to age, disability, or demographic characteristics. The guidelines offer a set of principles to consider when making decisions that alter standards of care, and they can easily be adapted by other state and local health departments that would like to distribute them to healthcare facilities.