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The Ventilator Question: ICU Doctors Struggle With End-Of-Life Ethics

Instead of ending ICU treatment and allowing relatives to say goodbye peacefully, doctors often keep patients alive for too long. The pandemic has forced us to revisit eternal dilemmas and shown that Intensive Care Units are often unprepared to confront tough ethical questions.

Hand of a patient with severe corona in an intensive care unit

An elderly patient with severe COVID in the intensive care unit of a hospital in Fulda, Germany

Michael Brendler

BERLIN — The doctor had no doubt that it was a matter of life or death. A patient with severe pneumonia had arrived down in the emergency room, he told his colleague on the phone. He was no longer breathing well, which in medical jargon means something like: He is at risk of suffocating. "Can you take him over to the intensive care unit (ICU) very quickly?" the doctor requested.

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food / travel

Denied The Nile: Aboard Cairo's Historic Houseboats Facing Destruction

Despite opposition, authorities are proceeding with the eviction of residents of traditional houseboats docked along the Nile in Egypt's capital, as the government aims to "renovate" the area – and increase its economic value.

Houseboats on the Nile in Zamalek, Cairo

Ahmed Medhat and Rana Mamdouh

With an eye on increasing the profitability of the Nile's traffic and utilities, the Egyptian government has begun to forcibly evict residents and owners of houseboats docking along the banks of the river, in the Kit Kat area of Giza, part of the Greater Cairo metropolis.

The evictions come following an Irrigation Ministry decision, earlier this month, to remove the homes that have long docked along the river.

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