Saturday, May 2, 2020

What is Michigan Senate Resolution 111? Science or Judgement?

Michigan Senate Resolution 111 seeks to allow elective medical procedures and activities. It encourages an adjustment to Executive Order 2020-17 that states only emergency medical or procedures that are needed for the health and safety of the patient are allowed. You can read the Michigan Senate Resolution 111 adopted by the Senate April 28th, 2020 HERE.

Senate Resolutions are not law but express the sentiments of legislature. It is not a bill but does indicate a growing need and solidifies that need into documentation. Bills are a little different. You can read How Does a Bill Become A Law (Michigan)?

Thus Michigan Senate Resolution 111 claims an intent to push for opening of non-emergency type medical procedures and activities. Executive Order 2020-17 require, "hospitals, freestanding surgical outpatient facilities, dental facilities and all state-operated outpatient facilities to postpone all nonessential procedures."

The essential arguments relate around health and safety of patients. On one side of the argument it is believed we are not ready to open them but on the other side of the argument it is believed that keeping them closed can cause other issues (i.e. lack of monitoring health issues, depression, etc....)

I guess much of it depends on the intent of Republicans and Democrats and what the data says (and of course whats available and how it is measured). One could make an argument that unnecessary doctors visits can spread the disease farther but one could also flip that argument and say people who can't get mental health services, regular check-ups, etc.. has a cost that could exceed COVID-19 risk factors.

To make a case from a logical standpoint someone would have to run some numbers as they relate to risk factors of spreading and potential outcomes of not obtaining medical care for issues deemed non-essential. Science takes a while to catch up but pulling whats available (scientific and non-scientific but credible) together for a comparison may make a difference in how we see this problem (even from a non-scientific but reasonable judgement standpoint).

When making decisions from ambiguous information there will always be room for guessing and second guessing. There are risks and there are other risks no matter what we do. However, a review on this situation would likely allow for some medical facilities/activities to open up as they relate to reasonable health maintenance. We do know they will eventually need to open but the timing is of debate. Some new procedures for doctors visits could help mitigate some of the risks.

The State of Michigan has a system in place that allows the monitoring of cases based on risk metrics drawn from sources such as hospital capacity, health, spreading, etc... Those metrics can be used to determine which areas may start opening back up with lower risk levels. If this change causes the virus to grow then adjust accordingly. The virus is a moving and adjusting organisms and we can also be so our systems should have some fluid capacity when needed. As long as decisions are reasonable and supported by logic, science and credible evidence it is hard to place blame. This is one reason why stakeholders should contribute to decision making.

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