The Swiss Option Switzerland closed its borders because of COVID in mid-March 2020 to all but a few select travellers (eg. cross border workers). Despite this, Pegasos has continued to quietly operate. While it may be possible for non-Europeans to claim they are coming to Switzerland for ‘medical treatment’ (one of the few permitted reasons for entry during COVID), this is far from assured. People planning to access a Pegasos VAD are advised to work closely with the organisation.
Advance Directives in the Post COVID World
The arrival of COVID-19 reinforces the need for everyone to prepare a legally-recognised advance directive document and arrange the appointment of a legal representative (eg. guardian, proxy, agent, etc.). And advance directive can outline the nature of one’s desired end of life care, (and a guardian can advocate on our behalf) should we become unable to communicate this for ourselves.
A deteriorating situation with a COVID pneumonia can quickly place you in the position of having to make a decision as to what level of medical intervention you want. Because the prospect of needing active ventilation is likely, one should document one’s wishes in advance. It could be that when these decisions need to be made by medical staff, you may be incapable of making your views known.
The existence of a legally-drafted advance directive and appointment of a legally-sanctioned person to represent you, could well protect you from a prolonged and undignified death in an ICU. Such a document, and such an agent, can also ensure that scarce medical resources are freed up for those who more welcome them (and who may be more likely to benefit from them). This makes the decision-making easier for the medical staff involved.