Parliamentary Network E-News

Volume 14
No. 2
April, 2020

U.S.: Disability Community Must be Protected

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a bulletin to ensure that entities covered by civil rights authorities keep in mind their obligations under laws and regulations that prohibit discrimination in HHS-funded programs, including in the provision of health care services during COVID-19.

The OCR announced that it is “particularly focused on ensuring that covered entities do not unlawfully discriminate against people with disabilities when making decisions about their treatment during the COVID-19 health care emergency.”

US disability advocates, including parents of children with Down syndrome, have been especially disturbed by guidelines published by the state of Alabama which state that “persons with severe mental retardation, advanced dementia or severe traumatic brain injury may be poor candidates for ventilator support” and that “persons with severe or profound mental retardation, moderate to severe dementia, or catastrophic neurological complications such as persistent vegetative state are unlikely candidates for ventilator support.”

OCR Director Roger Severino explained the rational for the bulletin: “Our civil rights laws protect the equal dignity of every human life from ruthless utilitarianism. HHS is committed to leaving no one behind during an emergency, and helping health care providers meet that goal. Persons with disabilities, with limited English skills, and older persons should not be put at the end of the line for health care during emergencies.” 

A bipartisan bicameral letter to protect individuals with disabilities during the pandemic was led in the House by congressional pro-life caucus co-chair Rep. Chris Smith (R) and Rep. Jim Langevin (D) and signed by twenty-seven members of the House of Representatives and five Senators. They called upon Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar and U.S. Attorney General William Barr to expeditiously issue guidance to states that they cannot authorize or promote any form of disability discrimination that violates the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“Our nation cannot leave behind Americans with disabilities or pre-existing conditions during this crisis. The Department of Health and Human Services should immediately clarify that states may not respond to the coronavirus emergency by denying individuals life-sustaining treatments solely on the basis of disability. As a nation, we have to stick together, and this includes the disability community and their families,” said Rep Smith.

Read more here.

 


 
 
Parliamentary Network for Critical Issues
Advancing global respect and dignity for life through law and policy.

In This Issue

 

Defending Life

Abortion Funding Kept Out of Coronavirus Aid Act

Pandemic Concerns Halts Some Abortions

Physicians Declare: Abortion is Not Essential Healthcare

Pro-Life Leaders Seek Abortion Clinic Compliance

Disability Community Must be Protected

International Pressure for Abortion

Pandemic Viewed by Pro-Abortionists as an Opportunity

Attorneys General Seek Mail Order Abortion Drugs

Northern Ireland: UK Enacts Abortion on Demand amid Pandemic

Northern Ireland: Struggle to Stop DIY Abortion

UK: DIY Abortions No Longer Banned

Telemedicine for Abortion

South Australia: Abortion Activists Seek Telemedicine Abortion

 

Focus on the United Nations

CSW Declaration Disappoints Pro-Abortion Activists

Legislative News

Democratic Pro-Life Leader Loses Primary

UK: New Report Reveals Unborn Babies Feel Pain Earlier

Canada: New Bill Would Ban Sex-Selective Abortions

India: Lower House Votes to Extend Abortion Limit to 24 Weeks

New Zealand: Parliament Votes to Legalize Abortion

 

Executive News

Argentina: Plans to Legalize Abortion on Hold Due to COVID-19

 

Judicial News

EU: Court of Human Rights Denies Conscience Rights

 


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