Applying HHS’s Guidance for States and Health Care Providers on Avoiding Disability-Based Discrimination in Treatment Rationing – Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund

Persons with disabilities…should not be put at the end of the line for health services during emergencies.

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Source: Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund

On March 28, 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued a Bulletin entitled “Civil Rights, HIPAA, and the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19),” stating “HHS is committed to leaving no one behind during an emergency, and this guidance is designed to help health care providers meet that goal…Persons with disabilities…should not be put at the end of the line for health services during emergencies.

Our civil rights laws protect the equal dignity of every human life from ruthless utilitarianism.” The Bulletin offers broad guidance on the obligations of states and health care providers to comply with federal disability rights laws in developing treatment rationing plans and administering care in the event of a shortage of medical equipment, hospital beds, or health care personnel.

This document from organizations with expertise in federal disability rights laws provides a more detailed explanation of how the requirements set forth in the HHS Bulletin would apply and how states and health care providers can take steps to modify policies and practices to avoid disability discrimination.”

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