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Help Stop Healthcare Discrimination Against Seniors and People with Disabilities

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Dear Mr. President,

On behalf of the National Right to Life Committee, we write to express our grave concern with recent reports of planned discrimination on the basis of disability in the allocation of scarce medical resources in response to the recent outbreak of Covid-19. According to a recent report in the Washington Post, state governments are now considering implementing “rationing protocols” that would limit access to ventilators and other scarce medical resources on the basis of disability or age.

Such policies are a violation of human dignity and are also in contravention of the Americans with Disabilities Act. It is our recommendation that the Department act expeditiously to clarify that the rationing of access to scarce medical resources on the basis of disability or age is not permissible and will be subject to enforcement action if it occurs. In particular, we believe that such guidance should explicitly prohibit allocation procedures that prioritize patients on the basis of anticipated resource-intensity, the presence of an underlying disability, any arbitrary age cut-off or subjective assessments of the perceived quality of life of a patient (either prior to or after treatment).

In states that have previously conducted pilot programmes with the objective of evaluating the efficacy of a response to a pandemic, participants have consistently expressed support for the treatment of as many individuals as possible and have indicated a desire for the implementation of a fair and widely accessible prioritisation system.

The National Right to Life Committee is dedicated to the protection of life at all stages. It is our contention that the measures currently under discussion are antithetical to the values upon which our nation was founded. It is our recommendation that the Department act expeditiously to safeguard individuals with disabilities, the elderly, and those with chronic conditions from discriminatory practices during this period of national crisis.

It is our recommendation that the country’s civil rights legislation be upheld in the current crisis. It is therefore imperative that decency and a respect for human dignity be upheld.
Furthermore, it is possible that the United States may be forced to make similar rationing decisions to those made in Italy and China. Washington Post, 15 March 2020.


Daniel Miller is responsible for nearly all of National Right to Life News' political writing.

With the election of Donald Trump to the U.S. presidency, Daniel Miller developed a deep obsession with U.S. politics that has never let go of the political scientist. Whether it's the election of Joe Biden, the midterm elections in Congress, the abortion rights debate in the Supreme Court or the mudslinging in the primaries - Daniel Miller is happy to stay up late for you.

Daniel was born and raised in New York. After living in China, working for a news agency and another stint at a major news network, he now lives in Arizona with his two daughters.

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