Monday, April 20, 2020

Governments need to affirm ethical and human rights obligations to persons with disabilities

In an op-ed for CBC's Opinion section published April 19, Osgoode Hall Law School Professor Roxanne Mykitiuk, director of the Disability Law Intensive Program at York University and U of T Faculty of Law and Dalla Lana School of Public Health Professor Trudo Lemmens write how COVID-19 triage orders mustn't work against those with disabilities.

"In a pandemic setting, triage is the allocation of treatment and scarce resources to patients according to a set of criteria or priorities in order to achieve a particular goal. The key goal is to make the most efficient use of available resources to maximize the number of survivors, and in times of extreme health care crisis it can also include the survival of essential health care personnel.

But who gets left behind?

Persons with disabilities fear and distrust priority-setting in medicine – and you can understand why. History and often personal health care experiences of people with disabilities fuel these fears. They worry that priorities or the way access criteria are interpreted and applied, whether deliberately or through oversight, will put people with disabilities at or near the bottom of the priority list for care."

Read the full op-ed at CBC News Opinion