Disability Rights Concerns and Clinical Triage Protocol Development During the COVID-19 Pandemic
(Forthcoming, 2020) 40(4) Health Law in Canada 103-112
14 Pages Posted: 18 Aug 2020
Date Written: August 17, 2020
In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic a number of jurisdictions and authorities have drafted triage protocols to guide decision making in the face of severe shortage of ventilators and intensive care resources. Several of these have evoked debate about their compatibility with human rights standards, and in particular the rights of people with disabilities. In Canada, the Canadian Medical Association came out with a general Framework for Ethical Decision Making, while Ontario Health produced a draft Clinical Triage Protocol for Major Surge in COVID Pandemic. In this commentary we critically review both documents to determine how their development process and their substantive provisions align with approaches to substantive equality and the promotion of human rights of persons with disabilities. We offer a number of recommendations to ensure that the human rights of persons with disabilities are promoted in COVID-19 triage policies.
Keywords: discrimination, equality, health care, clinical triage, access to care, disability rights, COVID19, pandemic
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