For Immediate Release
Contact: David Card
Washington, DC – The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has issued a proposed rule to strengthen protections against discrimination in health care settings for people with disabilities. In response, NDRN Executive Director Marlene Sallo issued the following statement:
“NDRN thanks the Department of Health and Human Services for strengthening prohibitions against discrimination. During the Covid pandemic, our members, the Protection and Advocacy (P&A) agencies, saw firsthand the discrimination people with disabilities experienced, discrimination that in some tragic cases led to permanent harm and even death.
“In the early days of the pandemic, hospitals took life-saving medical equipment away from people with disabilities to give to other patients. People with disabilities should not be denied medical treatment because a lower value is placed on their life because they have a disability. It is hard to believe that these unconscionable practices continue to exist in 2023.
“It is discrimination, plain and simple, that is rooted in stigma, ableism, and a misconception about the quality of life of Americans with disabilities. NDRN fully supports these proposed regulations and encourages swift enactment. The proposed rule would end the use of formulas that discount a person’s life because of a disability and ensure that people with disabilities have access to critical healthcare services and devices.”
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The National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) is the nonprofit membership organization for the federally mandated Protection and Advocacy (P&A) Systems and the Client Assistance Programs (CAP) for individuals with disabilities. Collectively, the Network is the largest provider of legally based advocacy services to people with disabilities in the United States.