Adding to our concern about Dr. Howard Zucker, the state health chief, is his now-abandoned “let them die” order.
Hours after The Post reported exclusively on new state guidelines directing first responders not to try to revive people in cardiac arrest when they arrive on-scene, Zucker reversed himself while trying to shift the blame.
“Our job is to bring patients back to life. This guideline takes that away from us,” said Oren Barzilay, head of the union representing uniformed EMTs and paramedics.
The health commissioner obliquely blamed his department’s Bureau of Emergency Medical Services for the order. Sorry: Responsibility rests squarely on him — and on Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Until the order went out April 17 with special rules for the duration of the pandemic, EMTs were expected to spend up to 20 minutes trying to revive someone found in cardiac arrest.
To their credit, the FDNY and other first responders rejected the state order and kept to the 20-minute policy.
On Thursday, Cuomo told reporters and the public to “blame me” for state actions. Well, OK — but between this and the nursing-home mandate discussed above, your team is looking pretty uncaring.
Earlier in the crisis, when it looked like virus cases might overwhelm hospital ICUs, Zucker’s department issued guidance on ventilator allocation to consider a patient’s past do-not-resuscitate status and relative chances of survival to ration access to the life-saving machine.
Hard decisions may be needed in a crisis. But it’s hard to miss the pattern here.