I'd take a guess that this "pronouncement" was spurred to be made publicly as a response to the woman doctor who was virtually crucified due to her actions and response in the hospital in New Orleans during Katrina and as a CTA when a catastrophy occurs.
And keep in mind that military medics in the field must make these type of decisions all the time during battle. It "ain't" pretty, it "ain't" easy, I sure as heck wouldn't want to have to be making those kind of decisions. But I can see the necessity.
Our medical schools are not exactly being flooded by American students wanting to be doctors. We are depending more and more on "foreign" students in our medical schools, "foreign" doctors in our hospitals and practices. And, unfortunately, fewer and fewer of ALL medical students have ANY interest in "general practice". Most want to specialize due to the "return on investment".
Let's face it: in a major catastrophe such as Katrina, even the WTC, much less an earthquake such as in China, Myanmar, etc. we'd all better be prepared and ready to accept that we will have NO ONE to depend upon but ourselves for some time.