FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 7, 2020
Edie Surtees, Disability Rights Texas
Urgent request to Governor Abbott regarding rationing of care
Advocates ask State to provide immediate guidance to medical providers that prohibits discrimination in providing healthcare to people with disabilities during COVID-19 pandemic
AUSTIN—Disability Rights Texas and 16 other organizations are urging Governor Greg Abbott and state health officials to issue statewide guidance to healthcare providers about their obligation under federal law to prohibit discrimination against persons with disabilities should a need for rationing healthcare arise.
Without statewide guidance from state officials, persons with disabilities may have lifesaving care illegally withheld or taken away. Three other states have already issued guidance that discriminates against people with intellectual disabilities and brain injuries. That is why it is imperative that Texas promptly issues mandatory guidance that complies with federal anti-discrimination laws and makes clear that the lives of all Texans with disabilities have value and that they shall receive equal consideration when decisions are made about who receives potentially life-saving treatments like ventilators.
“We are committed to ensuring that any guidelines issued by the state or used by healthcare providers are lawful, equitable, and respect the rights and dignity of people with disabilities,” said Mary Faithfull, Executive Director for Disability Rights Texas. “We urge the Governor and state healthcare officials to act swiftly and issue the requested guidance so that the lives of Texans with disabilities will be protected during this pandemic.”
See attached document below that includes the letter from Disability Rights Texas and other advocates on the need for rationing of care guidelines to protect Texans with disabilities.
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Disability Rights Texas (previously named Advocacy Inc.) is the federally designated legal protection and advocacy agency (P&A) for people with disabilities in Texas. Its mission is to help people with disabilities understand and exercise their rights under the law, ensuring their full and equal participation in society.