FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 2, 2021
Governor Abbott Urged to Endorse Activation and Application of Statewide Critical Care Guidelines
AUSTIN—Disability Rights Texas (DRTx) has joined with the Texas Medical Association, Texas Hospital Association, Texas Nurses Association and the Coalition of Texans with Disabilities in urging Governor Abbott to endorse the use of critical care guidelines – recently updated in January – when providing treatment to COVID-19 patients.
A recent letter to the Governor from DRTx and these organizations stresses the importance of following these guidelines to assist with decision-making made by physicians, nurses and hospitals should the demand for intensive care services increase beyond standard operating capacity and supplies.
As the letter states, “We believe that every patient should receive all possible respect, care, compassion and access to care without regard to race, ethnicity, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, veteran status, age, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity, stereotypes, perceived value of life or any other distinguishing characteristic…”
The letter also asks Gov. Abbott to have any relevant agencies and offices suspend licenses reviews/disciplinary actions, criminal penalties and civil damages against physicians and health care professionals when operating consistent with the critical care guidelines.
DRTx and more than a dozen other advocacy groups first asked state officials in April 2020 to adopt a revised standard of critical care guidelines, and then again in July of 2020 when no response was given.
Attached below are the most recent letter and the two letters from April and July 2020 (with proposed guidance) sent to the Governor.
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Disability Rights Texas 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.