Massachusetts hospitals may not perform “nonessential” procedures like colonoscopies or knee replacements, but they may continue to perform abortions.
Massachusetts Bureau of Health Care Safety and Quality director Elizabeth Kelley released a March 15 memorandum explaining that all procedures which are “nonessential, elective invasive” procedures will be postponed or canceled while Massachusetts is under a state of emergency, according to MassLive.
“Terminating a pregnancy is not considered a nonessential, elective invasive procedure for the purpose of this guidance,” the memorandum said. “However, the ultimate decision is based on clinical judgment by the caring physician.”
Today, I have declared a state of emergency in Massachusetts to further support our response to COVID-19. We will continue planning and preparing to mitigate the spread of this disease, and have issued new guidance for Executive Branch employees.
— Charlie Baker (@MassGovernor) March 10, 2020
Her clarification comes after the public health commissioner ordered doctors to cancel all nonessential procedures March 10.
Nonessential procedures, according to Kelley’s memorandum, include any procedures involving skin incisions, injections into “a joint body space or body cavity,” hip replacement or knee replacement, colonoscopies, bronchoscopies, kidney tube placements, invasive radiology procedures, most dermatology procedures, eye implants, tooth extractions, sound wave treatment to break down kidney stones, endometrial biopsy, and more.
Republican Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said Monday that “we’re all adjusting to these circumstances, but I think it’s important to remember why,” according to MassLive.
“Our public health professionals believe by taking these serious actions now, we can mitigate the spread of coronavirus and help protect our most vulnerable population,” Baker added.
Neither Massachusetts Department of Health nor Baker responded to requests for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.
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