Disability Discrimination in COVID 19 Response for Congress


  • Your Senators
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Stop Disability Discrimination in Triage Plans

Dear [Decision Maker],

As a supporter of the International Myeloma Foundation, I request that you contact our state governor and reiterate that disability discrimination within triage plans is unacceptable and that the lives of people with disabilities are equally worthy and valuable as those of people without disabilities.

On March 28, 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued a Bulletin entitled "Civil Rights, HIPAA, and the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)," stating "HHS is committed to leaving no one behind during an emergency, and this guidance is designed to help health care providers meet that goal...Persons with disabilities...should not be put at the end of the line for health services during emergencies. Our civil rights laws protect the equal dignity of every human life from ruthless utilitarianism."

Federal disability rights laws--including the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act--broadly protect people with disabilities against discrimination in receiving medical treatment. These laws apply to hospitals experiencing a medical equipment, bed, or staffing shortage during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as state policies.

During this time of uncertainty, cancer patients should be assured that they will receive fair treatment for this deadly pandemic in their state. We ask you to stand with those patients.

[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]
[Your Email]