by Timothy DiGuglielmo, Ara Ludwig, Hannah Ott, and Marissa Steiner
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, hospitals have been overcrowded and many resources have become limited, causing doctors to make difficult decisions regarding the allocation of these limited resources. We were interested in how a person’s levels of empathy affects decision making in regards to prioritizing treatment depending on individuals’ vaccination status. We created a survey that showed two vignettes detailing individuals who arrived sick at the hospital looking for care. Participants were randomly assigned to have their vignettes describe either a vaccinated or unvaccinated individual. Regardless of assigned vaccination status, participants all received two vignettes, one describing an individual with COVID-19 and the other with a blood infection and were asked to make decisions about their care. We plan on comparing the immunized/not immunized conditions for both the blood disease and covid patients. We will also run a series of regressions to look at how overall empathy levels predict treatment decisions.