The COVID-19 pandemic has placed an enormous burden on health systems, and guidelines have been developed to help healthcare practitioners when resource shortage imposes the choice on who to treat. However, little is known on the public perception of these guidelines and the underlying moral principles. Here, we assess on a sample of 1033 American citizens' moral views and agreement with proposed guidelines. We find substantial heterogeneity in citizens' moral principles, often not in line with the guidelines recommendations. As the guidelines are likely to directly affect a considerable number of citizens, our results call for policy interventions to inform people on the ethical rationale behind physicians or triage committees decisions to avoid resentment and feelings of unfairness.
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