The recent pandemic has forced us in 2020 to rethink the priority of access to medical care. The purpose of this article is to offer a brief account of how two countries – Sweden and the US – have reacted to the pandemic. The authors wish to show how the functions of the regulations and guidelines applied by hospitals and institutions during the COVID-19 pandemic differ from the objectives of health policies based on the principles of the distributive justice theory. The article will thus risk a preliminary assessment of the role of law in a crisis. A short summary of the main points of the distributive justice theory will be followed by an analysis of two cases: the guidelines issued by local authorities in Sweden and the American models applied during the COVID-19 pandemic. The conducted analysis results in a thesis that the objective of the justice theory differs from the regulations actually applied. In the case of Sweden, the recommendations seem to clearly prioritise the life of young people over the life of the elderly, even if there is no shortage of resources. In the case of the United States, we can see more objectives of distributive justice implemented in the analysed triages, but they are still not free from discrimination. The authors therefore call for an improvement of mobility of medical care resources in order to mitigate crises. The cognitive value has an international quality, and is aimed at Polish audiences dealing with the problems in question, be it at the level of a hospital or legislation.